Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 03, 2012 - 3:44 pm

Searchers find missing Kimmirut mayor’s remains

Jamesie Kootoo’s body found 40 miles north of Kimmirut

DAVID MURPHY

The body of former Kimmirut mayor Jamesie Kootoo, 67, has been found after seven months of searching.

He was found 40 miles north of Kimmirut according to Tommy Akavak, a member of the Kimmirut search and rescue committee

Kootoo left Nov. 26 on a one-day caribou hunt, but never returned.

He was last seen near Qurvik Lake, where he stopped to fix a problem with his qamutik.

On Dec. 6, RCMP said they found “blocks of carved snow” in the area.

Things went from bad to worse as stormy weather hit the area. The search was eventually called off until the spring, but was halted again due to the amount of snow still on the ground.

“He had health problems, I don’t think that helped. He had a heart condition. But he was still well enough to go out hunting,” said Akavak. “But I guess he got disoriented with the weather.”

“We chartered a helicopter on May 30. The search committee came to the conclusion that there was too much snow, so they resumed on June 30,” said Akavak.

Kootoo was found shortly thereafter. He was 67-years-old.

Akavak was in charge of the surge of donations that poured in to help with the rescue efforts. He said roughly $30,000 was donated from people in northern and southern Canada.

“He was a very likeable guy, a good friend, and good to be out with on the land,” said Akavak.

Akeego Ikkidluak, the senior administrative officer for Kimmirut, said Kootoo touched the lives of everybody in Kimmirut, population of 455. 

“He got along with anyone, whether they were young or old. He was always kind to everyone,” said Ikkidluak, adding that the community is relieved that his body was found.

Kootoo was a member of the search and rescue committee, a coroner, a Rangers sergeant, and mayor of Kimmirut.

His funeral will likely take place next week. 

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