Hope, but few answers

The grieving friends of Kim Blackwell know little about her murder, but remain optimistic answers are coming. The family has posted a $10,000 reward for any information about the murder of the 53-year-old Yukoner.

The grieving friends of Kim Blackwell know little about her murder, but remain optimistic answers are coming.

The family has posted a $10,000 reward for any information about the murder of the 53-year-old Yukoner.

Blackwell moved to Costa Rica nearly 20 years ago and established a chocolate factory on a remote farm abutting a national park in the Ossa Peninsula.

“There’s a sense that there are leads, but not necessarily enough evidence,” said friend Eric Epstein. “That’s a massive reward down there, so there’s hope that might lead to some information coming out.”

The factory was an attempt to provide local employment and ward off poaching activity in the national park, said Epstein.

However, poachers continued to cross Blackwell’s farm to get to the park and her battle with them eventually turned violent.

Many suspect it led to her death.

Judges have refused to issue warrants or make arrests, claiming a lack of substantial evidence.

A coroner’s report was to be issued Monday. But there’s still no word, said Epstein.

As well, the body was expected to be released by Costa Rican authorities Thursday, but there has been no news on that front either.

What Epstein has heard is that more than 100 people attended Blackwell’s memorial last week in Costa Rica.

As well, a date has been set for a memorial in Whitehorse.

It will take place on March 20, the first day of spring, at the cabin Blackwell built here many years ago.

“I think she would have appreciated that,” said Epstein. “I think it’s just a really good combination of times,” he added, mentioning the full moon and the “burning away the winter blues” event scheduled the night before.

Also, the date fits well with personal scheduling, and works for Blackwell’s brother, who is hoping to attend with some of his sister’s ashes.

Further details about the local memorial service will be shared closer to the day, Epstein said.

There is also hope that Blackwell’s chocolate factory will continue to operate in Costa Rica.

Three people have moved onto the land and are taking care of it and Epstein expects the battle against the poachers will continue as well.

“There are a lot of people who would like to see her death not be in vain,” he said.

“She was a very large personality and quite remarkable and a lot of people were influenced by her,” he said. “The more I hear from different parts of her community, the more I appreciate how truly remarkable she was.”

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read