Missing Calgary man’s body discovered in a tree in Acadia

There has been an outpouring of support from the Calgary community after Justin Rhodes’ family shared Wednesday the news of his death on the Facebook page Help Bring Justin Home:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Justin. Justin was loved and cared for by many people. Words can not express how greatfull we are for the support of every single person. At this time the family is asking for some privacy as we deal with the loss of Justin. Thank you again for all of your love and support.

Calgary police confirmed a body was found in a fir tree in the 9800 block of Alberni Road S.E. in Acadia close to where Rhodes was last seen after leaving a party in September, 2014. In a March 25 news release, police stated the death did not appear to be suspicious and an autopsy would take place in the next few days.

In a November 2014 interview with the Calgary Journal, Rhodes’ mother Karleen Thibault said her son always had a passion for the outdoors and enjoying nature with his family.

“He loved getting together with our family,” said Thibault. “Our family is very close so every summer and long weekend in August we all went camping together. He used to love coming up with ideas — ‘Hey let’s all go for a hike and invite the rest of the family.’”

Thibault said Justin had a need to care for people and ensure they were happy. Rhodes’ dream was to become a paramedic so that he could help people in need. In the months leading to his disappearance she said he had been making a conscious effort to improve his life.

Rhodes’ long-time friend Rhyse Tremel said in a previous interview, “I remember when Justin got his first aid done for the first time and for the next while after he would not shut up bragging about how he got his first aid. He was so proud of it too because all he wanted to do was help people.”

emanconi@cjournal.ca