RCMP investigators examine the alley next to Qwanlin Mall Aug. 31. Whitehorse RCMP later confirmed the investigation was connected to the homicide of 51-year-old Clayton Benoit, who died at Whitehorse hospital the day before. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Death of N.W.T. man living in Whitehorse deemed a homicide

Clayton Benoit, 51, died at Whitehorse General Aug. 30

Whitehorse’s latest homicide victim was a “good soul” and talented soapstone carver, says his former boss.

Clayton Benoit, 51, died at Whitehorse General Hospital the evening of Aug. 30. Investigators confirmed he’d been transported to hospital, alive and from the Whitehorse area, around 11:30 a.m. that morning.

His death was ruled a homicide following an autopsy in Vancouver Sept. 5, the Whitehorse RCMP said in a press release.

Investigators were seen examining areas of the alleyway beside Qwanlin Mall the day following Benoit’s death. Police have confirmed their investigation was connected to the homicide.

Benoit had worked as a carpenter for Whitehorse construction company Cardinal Contracting, starting as an apprentice five or six years ago, owner Ken Eby told the News Sept. 6.

“He was a very generous, happy man, very gentle. He was a very good carver, a soapstone carver, he was always smiling and always happy,” Eby said, adding that Benoit was due to start working on an upcoming Caridinal Contracting project.

“Clayton was pretty harmless, he was a good soul…. He was always smiling.”

Eby said Benoit was originally from Aklavik, N.W.T., but didn’t go back often and spent most of his time in the Whitehorse and Carcross area. Benoit had “lots of friends in Whitehorse,” Eby added.

Police have not released any suspect information nor made any arrests. The Yukon RCMP Major Crime Unit has taken over the investigation.

Anyone with information on Benoit’s activities or whereabouts in the days leading up to his death is asked to contact the RCMP at 867-667-5555.

This is the territory’s sixth homicide of 2017, and the fifth where the deceased was located in Whitehorse.

More to follow

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com