No way forward for family of P.A.’s first 2016 murder victim

By Spencer Sterritt
April 26, 2016 - 6:00am

Grief takes months and years to work through, but the sister of Prince Albert’s first murder victim of 2016 said her family will never get over their bereavement.

Samantha Keighley says she was incredibly close to her brother Jonathan Cowan, who was murdered Jan. 9.

“I’d talked to him just an hour before (he died),” she said. “I went and saw him and the family every week.”

Preston Spencer Dean Bird, who Keighley called “crazy,” was arrested Friday, April 22 and charged with second degree murder. He made his first Prince Albert Provincial Court appearance yesterday, April 25. His next court date is May 16.

Bird was the third person charged after Cowan's death. Reno Roy Keenatch and Tyler Thomas Pechawis were also arrested and face the same charge as Bird

Keighley said Keenatch was Cowan’s best friend, even though they’d only recent begun hanging out.

Knowing the men she believes to be responsible for her brother’s murder are in custody is a big relief for Keighley, but she said she and the family still have a difficult time dealing with it.

She said they’ve grown distant from their extend family as they work through their emotions.

“We’re all really close still, it’s just all the rest of the family we don’t really talk to,” she said. “The kids keep asking about it, because they were really close with (Cowan). The only way my mom is happy is when me and the kids are there.”

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