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Community mourns Hanne Meketech as investigation into her death continues
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter

Sitting in an easy chair in his brightly lit Blairmore apartment, Jeff Paulsen talks about the last time he saw Hanne Meketech.

It was the morning of Sept. 8 and brought his mother to Chris’ Restaurent in Coleman to celebrate her 93rd birthday, said Paulsen, when Meketech came over to their table to chat.

“Hanne and my mum knew each other,” said Paulsen. “So she sang happy birthday to my mum.”

“A lot of people knew her around the community,” said Paulsen. “She was a fiercely independent woman and for a person who had her struggles she seemed to get through life the best that anybody could.”

It was also the day before police and paramedics responded to a call from a concerned neighbour and found Meketech, 69, dead inside her home in the Bushtown area of Coleman

Autopsy results show she was the victim of a homicide but the cause of death has not been released at this time. Police have not identified any suspects.

On Wednesday, police would not confirm whether or not Meketech’s death was connected to the slaying of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, 2, and her father Terry Blanchette, 27.

“We’re exploring those connections through the investigative process some of that information I can’t speak to at this point,” said Insp. Derek Williams, Alberta RCMP Major Crimes.

Investigators from the RCMP Major Crime Unit, based in Airdrie, are now in the community and are conducting an investigation. They are asking anyone who may have information related to the deceased’s recent activities or acquaintances to contact them immediately.

Police are trying to determine who entered Meketech’s home at 1421 81 St. in Coleman in the days leading up to her death.

Anyone with information that may be of assistance to the RCMP is asked to call police at (403) 519-7314. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers with information at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

A spokesperson for the Crowsnest Community Support Society (CCSS) confirmed Meketech was a longtime member.

The CCSS offers support services for adults with developmental disabilities. It operates Mountainview Industries and the Bagatelle Thrift Store where the spokesperson said Meketech had been an employee.

She reportedly retired several years ago.

Taralee Tarasoff’s family bought their vacation home in Coleman about ten years ago and said Meketech lived across from them the entire time.

“Once she realized we had bought the place, she was over in an instant, introducing herself and letting us know she lived across the alley,” said Tarasoff in a Facebook interview. “Hanne also helped us out by keeping an eye on the house and had a key where she would check up to make sure everything was okay.”

Meketech loved animals and owned many cats and dogs, said Tarasoff. She invited the 23-year old from High River to visit them on the Sunday prior to her passing.

“Many of Hanne’s pets were animals that were disowned that she would take in in a heartbeat,” said Tarasoff.

She would also bring gifts for the family almost every time she visited their cabin including two eagles she presented to Tarasoff’s sister and boyfriend and said they “were for the love birds.”

“It’s heartbreaking to think someone could hurt anyone as harmless and as kind as Hanne,” said Tarasoff. “It makes me sick to think she had to go through something so dreadful. She did not deserve the pain caused to her. Hanne would never hurt a soul.”

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