Son believes 87-year-old mother was murdered despite investigation deeming death accidental
Jim Garwood is determined to prove his mother’s death eight years ago was a case of murder, despite it previously being deemed an accidental fall.
Jessie Garwood, 87, lived in Windsor Park and died after an incident in her home on Jogues Road in 2004.
A police investigation at the time ruled she accidentally fell down the stairs and died from the trauma.
"My mother had 13 injuries to the head, one of which was a vertical blow to the back of the head. And I'm thinking to myself – ‘You fall down the stairs. How do you get a vertical blow to your head?’” asked Jim.
He was out of town on vacation at the time his mother died.
During the past five years, he has spent more than $100,000 of his own money to try and prove his mother was murdered. He’s hired experts and consulted private detectives and had DNA samples tested at a lab. He said everything he’s gathered points to one conclusion – that his mother was murdered. He believes a family member may be involved.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra has looked into the case.
In a 2011 letter to Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill, Balachandra wrote the death doesn’t appear to be an accident, suggesting foul play could be involved.
The medical examiner’s office has changed cause of death to “undetermined” in a report.
“Each time you turn something in, you expect police are going to do something,” said Jim.
The Winnipeg Police Service said it has reviewed the case and looked at the evidence gathered by Jim and they had an outside police agency conduct a review of their investigation.
It supported the findings of the original investigation by officers in 2004, said police.
The police service said it’s sympathetic to the Garwood family but no new evidence suggests re-opening the case at this time.
Jim has vowed to continue toiling away on the case until the day police do re-open the investigation and he finally gets justice for his mother.