Mark Rendell

Two good friends: one dead, another critically injured early Sunday morning

Two days on, no charges laid and police still not releasing details of what happened in downtown apartment
John Wifladt loved music. | photo courtesy Tommy Wifladt

At around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, police found John Paul Wifladt, a 39-year-old diamond polisher and Colin Digness, a clerk at Videoland, unresponsive and “both suffering from serious injuries.”

Two days on, Wifladt’s dead and Digness is  in the hospital, but police remain tightlipped about what transpired in the third-floor apartment at Sunridge Place on 51st Ave.

The apartment was Digness’, but it remains unclear whether the two men were there alone.

Longtime friends, Wifladt and Digness were last seen leaving a Christmas party in N’Dilo around three or four in the morning, according to Wifladt’s brother, Tommy, whose cousin was at the party. Tommy had spent the evening with the two men at the Black Knight and the Gold Range. When he cabbed home at around 3 a.m. from the Gold Range, he said Wifladt and Digness were somewhat, though not overly, intoxicated “perhaps about six on a scale of one to 10.”

Wifladt died Sunday in Stanton Hospital and Digness was medevaced to Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. According to Tommy, he remains in stable-though-sedate condition. Wifladt’s body has been sent to Edmonton for an autopsy and neither the GNWT’s coroner’s office nor the RCMP will comment on what wounds were sustained and charges have yet to be laid.

Who was John Wifladt?

According to Tommy, Wifladt was a loving older brother, Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic and keen guitar player with his favourite band being Metallica. Just last year he purchased his first house on Glick Court in Range Lake.

Although Wifladt, born and raised in Yellowknife, graduated from Sir John Fanklin in 1993, Tommy says condolences have been pouring in from old classmates of his since the news broke on Sunday.

Tommy says he’s still waiting to hear from the RCMP about the cause of his brother’s death and has been frustrated by the lack of information.

“That’s my brother, how did he die? We want some closure, who did it and how?” he said. Neither he nor his parents were allowed to see Wifladt’s body before it was sent to Edmonton for autopsy.

Wifladt is survived by Tommy, sisters Michelle Wifladt and Heather Poluk and his parents, Jack and Alice Wifladt.

UPDATE: As of Friday, December 19, this incident is now being investigated by the RCMP as a homicide.