Ryan Saint Ange was outgoing, always had a smile on his face and would do anything he could to help others, says a friend grieving the death of the 21-year-old Abbotsford man.
Colton Vaughan said he and friends of Saint Ange’s in Calgary, Alberta are in shock after hearing that Saint Ange was found dead – the victim of a possible murder – in his Abbotsford rental home early Saturday morning.
Abbotsford Police were called to the home in the 27700 block of 56 Avenue just after midnight on Saturday by a friend who had stopped by to visit Saint Ange and found him dead.
Although others lived in the home, nobody else was there at the time.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called in to assist with what was deemed a “suspicious death,” the circumstances of which have not been released.
An autopsy was scheduled to take place yesterday, but RCMP Staff Sgt. Tim Evans did not know when results would be available.
“Until we have it confirmed, we’ll just call it foul play,” Evans said when asked yesterday whether Saint Ange’s death could be confirmed as a homicide.
IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said the incident is not connected to gangs.
Meanwhile, Vaughan, who found out about the death over Facebook, said friends and family are reeling from the news.
“Everyone thinks it’s unbelievable. They couldn’t believe it happened to such a good guy. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” he said.
Vaughan met Saint Ange in Abbotsford in 2007 during a math class at W. J. Mouat Secondary.
“We became really close. He became one of my really good friends.”
Vaughan said Saint Ange had an energetic spontaneous spirit, and was the one who often got people “pumped up” to do things.
Saint Ange moved to Calgary about a year later to be with family and, coincidentally, Vaughan did the same thing awhile later.
The pair re-connected and remained friends, even after Saint Ange returned to Abbotsford in 2009 after a stay in Montreal.
They communicated often through text messages and on Facebook, and discussed Saint Ange’s trouble with the law in September 2009, when he was charged with drug trafficking in Abbotsford.
The following year, Saint Ange was convicted of the charge and received a 12-month conditional sentence (house arrest).
Vaughan said the incident was out of character for Saint Ange.
“He just said he really needed the money, and I guess he resorted to that (selling drugs), but it didn’t work out .. It was only a one-time thing because he’s not that kind of person.”
Tributes to Saint Ange have also been pouring in over Facebook
“You were a good friend, and I’ll never forget our walks home cracking jokes and laughing, always had a smile on our face,” said one post.
Said another: “We will always remember you, your awesome sense of humour and smile that could cheer anyone up and light a room up.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.