Looking for new clues in unsolved Trail homicide from 37 years ago
On October 7, 1978, 21-year-old Kim Fofonove was found severely beaten, in Trail B.C. His homicide has never been solved.
All these years later, his family is hoping that with the assistance of a private investigator, several new tips and the reclassification of the RCMP file as 2nd Degree Murder, they will finally learn what happened to the athletic young criminology student who was on the path to becoming an RCMP officer himself.
Vancouver resident, Kim Andrew Fofonove was in Trail with his rugby team members over Thanksgiving weekend in October 1978 to participate in a multi-day tournament. Although his team was successful and won both matches that Saturday, Kim never played Sunday’s games. In fact, by Thanksgiving Day, Kim Fofonove was being prepped to donate his organs in a Vancouver hospital.
The Douglas College rugby team celebrated as you might expect a group of young men to do ~ with a few drinks at the local hotel. At the Trail Hotel, Kim drank with his mates and played a few games of pool before calling it a night and exiting around 11 p.m. Not long afterwards, he was found mere steps from the front door with multiple injuries, including catastrophic ones to his skull.
An unknown individual entered the pub and alerted bar patrons to the fact that one of their friends was in dire need of help outside. A group ran to his aid, attending to Kim’s immediate needs while awaiting medical help. Police and ambulance arrived, and Kim was transported to hospital but, sadly, never regained consciousness. His parents would transfer him to Vancouver where he died Oct. 10.
Investigators at the time were unable to prove what happened to Kim and no witnesses to the actual crime came forward. A Coroner’s Inquest, after the incident, ended inconclusively and ruled Kim’s mysterious death was by “misadventure”, although investigators were never satisfied that the death was accidental. In 2002, the investigation was re-opened due to an anonymous tip; RCMP then called it a “possible homicide”. That tip was investigated but led to no fruitful information. Once again, the file was revisited in 2005, when another tip was received. In addition, the original autopsy report was sent for review and the decision was that Kim’s death had not been from a fall, had not been from an automobile strike but had, in fact, been the result of being struck. This time, the investigation was scored as a Second Degree Murder.
Kim Fofonove was not the only member of his peer group who was interested in a career in crime fighting; a close friend, Brad Parker, spent 32 years policing and recently retired as the Chief Constable of a lower mainland police department. After all those years of carrying a faded file of news clippings and reminiscing about his friend, Brad now has the opportunity to honour Kim’s memory.
With the blessing of Kim’s mom Vivien Fofonove, who’s now 88 years old, and Kim’s only remaining brother, Terry, Brad [Riverhawk Investigations] has done numerous radio and TV interviews, worked with Crime Stoppers to set up a reward, talked to potential witnesses and set up a “Who Killed Kim Fofonove?” Facebook page, all with the knowledge that somewhere, somebody knows something. What Parker and the Fofonoves hope is that, after all these years, somebody will finally do the right thing and give Kim’s mom the peace of mind she’s been seeking for almost four decades.
The RCMP investigation, although a cold case, is open and continues.
If you have information that may help solve the murder of Kim Andrew Fofonove, please contact Constable Jason Zilkie at Trail RCMP at (250) 368-2197 or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-8477. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Who-Killed-Kim-Fofonove.