Victoria Clarke describes her cousin Jordan Ballantyne as “a very special guy” — he was a good writer, he spoke from his heart and he never asked for anything.
Clarke also never knew him to engage in any sort of violence, which continues to confuse her two years after Ballantyne’s body was found on a lawn in Prince Albert.
Police are investigating the case as a homicide.
On Monday evening, Clarke was part of a group that walked from Kinsmen Park to the site where her cousin laid lifeless on July 13, 2018. She hopes the annual Justice for Jordan Memorial Walks sustain the public’s awareness of the case, encouraging anyone with information to come forward to the police.
Last year, at the walk marking the first anniversary of Ballantyne’s death, Clarke said her family was still filled with shock and resentment.
“I was in disbelief maybe still and in anger about everything that happened at that time. I think this year was kind of the turning point for us now, like it’s year two. I think it’s time that we start to feel our feelings instead of covering them up with anger. We need to start feeling the pain,” said Clarke.
She estimated about 25 people took part in the walk, an increase from last year. Her cousin brought ribbon skirts for all of the women to wear, as they marched the streets holding up photos of Ballantyne.
“I was so touched by the people beeping their horns as we were walking to offer that support,” she said. “That was very humbling.”
The group was escorted by the police.
“I can’t thank them enough,” she said, adding that she knows they’re working on finding answers. She thanked them for sending out a call for previous tipsters to get in touch again as they continue their investigation.
Before the walk, the group did a smudging ceremony to clear any negative energy. When they reached the site where Ballantyne’s body was found, they sang and drummed to the Creator.
Both Clarke and Ballantyne are from Southend. Ballantyne’s brother, Dominic Morin, was also an alleged victim of murder in the small, northern Saskatchewan community in 2017. No arrests have been made in that case, either.
Ballantyne lived his life on the streets of Prince Albert, said Clarke. However, she explained, he was sober and he always cleaned up at his family’s homes. His long ponytail always looked neat.
“But then he’d be back on the street with his friends and I know he said that he feels more connected with them,” she said.
“If you saw him, he didn’t really ask you for anything. He was a very humble guy.”
According to the Prince Albert Police Service, officers responded to a yard near Sixth Avenue East and 20th Street shortly after 9 p.m. on July 13, 2018.
They located a deceased man, who was later publicly identified as Ballantyne. He was 42 years old.
Clarke said the pain of losing her cousin to an alleged murder hasn’t lessened—that’s why she’ll continue to help organize walks in his memory.
“We didn’t forget,” she said.
“We still want justice.”
Anyone with information about Jordan Ballantyne’s death or his activities on July 13, 2018 is encouraged to call Prince Albert police at 306-953-4222 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.