Conklin man found dead in smouldering trailer recalled as talented musician, bingo caller

Family and friends are remembering the man whose remains were discovered in a smouldering travel trailer in Conklin, Alta., more than two months ago, as a kind soul, talented musician and bingo caller.

Community members have long known the victim was 54-year-old William Tremblay but RCMP only confirmed his identity on Wednesday.

Tremblay’s remains were found on April 8 in a burned-out trailer on a remote site at the edge of Conklin, a small hamlet 150 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray.

The autopsy was completed three days later.

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit is investigating Tremblay’s death as suspicious, but are not saying how he died.

Tremblay’s remains were found in a burned-out trailer at this spot on the edge of the hamlet on April 8. (Andrea Huncar/CBC)

Last month, loved ones paid their respects at a funeral service for Tremblay, a father of two and brother to 17 siblings, who called bingo games for seniors at the Conklin Multiplex.

“Every time they have a little bingo here for the seniors, the seniors miss him,” his nephew Les Tremblay told CBC News. “It’s hard on this little community because he volunteered in all kinds of stuff. He never hurt a fly.”

To many, Tremblay was affectionately known as Bacon, a childhood nickname from a brother that stuck. 

It was as a child when Tremblay discovered his love for music. At age six, he recorded an album of Cree music with his mom, aunties and uncles, his nephew said.

As an adult, he continued to play guitar and sing country music.  

‘Missed by many’

Online, friends remembered Tremblay as someone who made them laugh and who will be missed.

“He was such a kind soul. He’s sure going to be [missed] by many who he touched,” says one post on social media. “Our creator needed a talented musician up in heaven and a bingo caller.”

Three days after Tremblay’s death, Conklin became the centre of a police manhunt.

Ryan Tremblay, 34, was arrested on outstanding warrants, but RCMP would not say if the arrest is related to the William Tremblay’s death. 

Court documents show Ryan Tremblay’s criminal record stretches back to 2004 with convictions and jail time for arson, assaults, assault with a weapon and uttering threats of bodily harm.

Police are asking anyone who was in contact with William Tremblay prior to his death to call them or Crime Stoppers.

andrea.huncar@cbc.ca

@andreahuncar