Days before they are scheduled to receive an update in the ongoing homicide investigation, the family of Colton Crowshoe gathered in the northeast to honour the memory of the murdered man and deliver a strong message to those responsible for his death.

“I pity you today,” said Tanya Johnston, Colton’s aunt, in a statement to the unidentified killer or killers. “I pity you because I know that you’re scared and you’re scared of what’s to come. As much as you think you’re not scared, I know deep inside you’re terrified.”

“Make it easier for yourselves and come forward with the truth.”

In July 2014, the body of the 18-year-old was located in a retention pond near his family’s home in Abbeydale. The grisly discovery ended a disappearance that lasted for three weeks. Police have declared the death a homicide.

“It’s a big challenge every day,” said Jimmy Crowshoe, Colton’s father. “We don’t know what really happened. It’s been almost 18 months but sometimes I kind of figure that one of these days someone will eventually break.”

A recent conversation between members of the CPS homicide unit and Jimmy Crowshoe left the family under the impression that there may have been a break in the case.

“The homicide unit spoke to us last week and let Jimmy know that they would like to meet with us come January 26,” said Tanya Johnston. “By the sound of (the CPS member’s) voice, he was very hopeful and seemed relieved stating that they had a very strong lead in the case and with persons of interest.”

Jimmy Crowshoe says he was surprised to hear from police as the family has tried to talk to investigators but they haven’t received updates.

According to Tanya Johnston, the family is anxious and tired.

“We want this over with,” said Johnston. “It needs to come to an end. We need closure so we can start moving on and healing.”

In the summer of 2015, the Alberta Serious Incident Respons Team, ASIRT, launched an investigation into the actions of the Calgary Police Service in connection with Crowshoe's disappearance and murder. ASIRT has not provided an update on the ongoing investigation.