Yukon RCMP have released the names of the two men whose March 11 deaths in Mayo are being investigated as possible homicides.
Ben Symington, 35, and Michael Bennett, 22, were both from Whitehorse, RCMP said at a March 12 5 p.m. press conference.
“The families of Mr. Symington and Mr. Bennett have been notified of their deaths by police,” Lindsay Ellis, Yukon RCMP criminal investigation officer, told reporters. “Yukon RCMP shares condolences to their families and loved ones.”
On March 11, RCMP said officers were called about the deaths at approximately 9:13 a.m. The public were asked to avoid the area of Future Road in Mayo with only local traffic permitted in the C6 subdivision. Ellis said the road is expected to reopen late March 12 or early in the morning on March 13.
“The principal scene for the police investigation is a main roadway in Subdivision C-6, on the land of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, in Mayo,” Ellis said. “Based on information provided to the investigators, we believe the incident initially occurred shortly after 5 a.m. on March 11, as multiple witnesses have reported hearing gunfire around that time. Police were first notified of this incident upon receiving the call at 9:13 a.m. At this time we can confirm both men were shot, however, the type and style of firearm is still under investigation.”
A 2010 Ford Escape from the scene is in police custody and police are asking anyone who saw the vehicle in Mayo on the evening of March 10 and morning of March 11 to contact RCMP.
Anyone who had any interactions with either Symington or Bennett since March 4 are also asked to contact RCMP, as are anyone who noticed any other suspicious activity, person or vehicle in the area or who live in the area and have video surveillance at their home or business.
“A crime of this significance in a small community such as Mayo will have a substantial impact on the community,” Ellis said. “We want to emphasize that we do continue to believe that there is no immediate danger to the public related to these homicides. As we work on gathering physical evidence, processing and analyzing the information we can learn from exhibits at the scene, we also want to emphasize the importance of witnesses coming forward to share any information about Mr. Symington and Mr. Bennett. Sometimes, even information that may seem insignificant can be an important factor in a police investigation.”
RCMP can be reached at (867)667-5555 in Whitehorse, (867)996-5555 in Mayo or by calling the local prefix followed by 5555 in other Yukon communities.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com