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Mystery of gay Canadian man found dead in Manchester canal

PinkNews Staff Writer April 13, 2010
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Police are trying to piece together the final days of a gay Canadian man who was found dead in a Manchester canal in February.

Anthony Muise, 53, had been travelling around Britain since June 2009 after inheriting money from his mother. Police know he spent time in gay hotspots such as Manchester, London and Edinburgh.

He was found dead on Wednesday February 24th in the canal near the museum off Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park. His death was caused by a “puncture wound” to his chest but police are keeping an open mind as to how he sustained the injury.

Mr Muise, of Thornbury, Ontario, Canada, was last seen arriving at Manchester Piccadilly station at 4.15pm on January 19th.

However, police have struggled to establish who he met while staying in Britain and are appealing to anyone who met him to come forward to help piece together his movements.

Suicide is being considered as a possible cause of death. Mr Muise told friends in 2008 he believed he had suffered permanent brain damage after being attacked in Manchester on a previous visit.

He told friend Karen Hawkins, 50, of London, Ontario, that he was beaten in the bar and ended up coming to outside on the pavement. She said Mr Muise had become convinced he would die shortly.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Chadwick, of Manchester Police, said: “We’ve had a team of detectives working on this case, but Anthony’s final movements and friendships have remained elusive.

“We know that he arrived in Manchester on January 19th 2010 as we have CCTV images of him arriving at Piccadilly train station at 4.15pm.

“We also know that he had visited several towns and cities across England and Scotland since he arrived in Britain for an extended holiday last June.

“We are aware that Anthony inherited a significant amount following the death of his mother in 2004 and he used this money to finance his travels.

“What we don’t know is exactly who he met and spent time with while here in the UK. We know he visited a number of gay communities, including here in Manchester and in Edinburgh. He spent Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh.

“He died from a puncture wound to the chest and we are keeping an open mind about how he came to be injured.

“We do know he had told family and friends in the months before his death that he believed he had some kind of degenerative condition and he did intimate that he may harm himself.

“His family and friends just want your help in putting the final pieces together in this jigsaw.”

Ms Hawkins said: “I last spoke to Tony on January 14th this year and he told me he was calling to say goodbye. I remember I called his voicemail afterwards just to hear Tony’s voice and the message said: ‘I’m not here so don’t leave a message’.

“He was convinced he was going to die and he went to Manchester. I’m pretty sure he chose to go there after what happened two years previously, probably in a fatalistic kind of way.

“His death has been a private tragedy and I just want to find out what happened in those final weeks and months.

“I would implore anyone who knows where Tony was and what he was doing to call the police and help us piece together the last chapter in his life.”

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team on 0161 856 1722 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555.111.

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