Man died coming to aid of his wife: family 0
MIDLAND – Andrew Mixemong, president of the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre, has died after being brutally beaten Friday night at the rear of a popular downtown restaurant.
Two men have been arrested by the Midland Police Service. Charged each with one count of second-degree murder are Jessy Richard Herlichka, 26, and Paul Thomas McClung, 26, both of Midland.
According to relatives, the 59-year-old was on his way to meet his wife, Lorraine, an employee of Dino’s deli when he observed two men harassing her. The men had reportedly asked for food and, when told the restaurant was closed, became angry and one of them reportedly punched her.
Mixemong went to her aid and the pair attacked him. He later died in Georgian Bay General Hospital. An autopsy was to be performed Sunday in Toronto.
Described by many who knew him as a “sweet, gentle man,” Mixemong was a 1st degree Three Fires Midewiwin. His brother, Wayne, described him as a spiritual man who followed traditional ways.
“He would give you the shirt off his back,” Wayne said. He left Christian Island and moved to the mainland in the 1970s. For a while he and his wife lived with John Raynor, an avocational archaeologist and local historian, who described him as “a gift to the community.”
A ceremony to lift his spirit was conducted Sunday in a parking lot near where he was attacked. Earlier in the day a sacred fire had been lit at the former home of his parents on Christian Island to call his spirit home.
During the Midland ceremony a small strand of white cloud that emitted a range of bright colours drifted across the sky; a phenomena that amazed those attending the ceremony and police officers at the crime scene.
A traditional service will be held on Christian Island. Mixemong is survived by his wife, four sisters and five brothers.
Midland police and the Ontario Provincial Police criminal investigation branch are currently conducting a joint investigation into the death.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Midland Police at 705-526-2201 or Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477).