FREDERICTON – A body discovered in the attic of a Fredericton apartment building by firefighters Sunday night may have been in the crawlspace for nearly five years.
Friends of the dead man have identified him as Selamneh Techane, a former Ethiopian taxi driver who sometimes worked with families adopting Ethiopian orphans.
He came to New Brunswick in 2008 and his friends say he lived in the province for two years.
“He was the kindest, hardest working man, for sure. He was a sweet man, and we’re obviously sad to hear that news,” said Louise Reid.
“There’s not a bad word you can say about him.”
Reid met Selamneh in Ethiopia, when she adopted her son.
“He was our driver. He arranged for where we needed to go, made sure we were safe where we needed to go, took us to different areas of the city,” she said in a phone interview with Global News.
She stayed in touch with Selamneh when he came to Canada. It was at that time he met Ketachua Olisi, also from Ethiopia. The two were roommates for a while.
“He was a smiling man. Always smiling,” Olisi said.
Selamneh Techane came to Fredericton in 2008, according to friends. Courtesy: 广州桑拿网
Selamneh Techane came to Fredericton in 2008, according to friends.
He said he and Selamneh lived at the Aberdeen St. apartment. They shared the unit for a short time in 2010 or 2011, but one day Olisi said Selamneh disappeared.
His friend Jennifer Zilliac said she was contacted at her home in California by the New Brunswick coroner’s office on Monday.
The coroner’s office found her through a 广州桑拿网 group that was formed in 2011 to locate Techane after he dropped out of sight.
“We’ve been worried about him for a very long time,” Zilliac said. “He was very special to a lot of people.”
He made a lot of friends through his work in Ethiopia helping families adopt orphaned children. Zilliac said Techane made many friends in North America-and that he wanted to emigrate to Canada or the United States.
“We knew that he was unhappy and we feared really, that he was no longer living,” Zilliac said.
Zilliac said the coroner’s office told her that Techane may have died in June 2010.
Now, his friends have started an online fundraiser to raise enough money to send Selamneh’s body back to Ethiopia for a funeral.
Firefighters found the body while putting out flames in the attic after a fire in an apartment building on Aberdeen Street.
The fire is considered suspicious, but police say it’s unrelated to the discovery of the body.
Zilliac said she had no idea Techane was in Fredericton, or what he may have been doing there.
Fredericton police say they don’t consider his death suspicious.