Body of Winnipeg Teenager Missing for a Week Found in Recycling Bin, Man Charged With Murder

Cooper Nemeth, a 17-year-old hockey player, had not been seen since he left a house party last week. A 22-year-old man has now been arrested and charged with murder.

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Feb 22 2016, 3:59pm

The body of missing 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth, a high school student from Winnipeg, was found Saturday night in a blue recycling bin. Nemeth had been missing since he was last seen leaving a house party in the Sun Valley area of the city on February 14.

According to Winnipeg Free Press, Nemeth supposedly had set up a deal to sell a man Xanax that night, which is a prescription anti-anxiety medication and controlled substance. A friend of Nemeth's who spoke to Winnipeg Free Press on the condition of anonymity claims he saw Nemeth get into a car with two men—one of whom had set up a deal with the other. However, investigators have not confirmed whether or not this drug deal had anything to do with Nemeth's death.

Following Nemeth's disappearance, hundreds of family, friends, and other volunteers had been scouring Winnipeg in a search effort to find the teenager, who was in Grade 12 at River East Collegiate and played for River East Marauders AA hockey team.

Nicholas Bell-Wright, a 22-year-old from Winnipeg, was arrested and has been charged in the second-degree murder of Nemeth. He was found barefoot hiding out in a stolen vehicle at 4 AM Sunday by police, but was taken into custody without incident. Bell-Wright's car and home were also reportedly searched on Friday by the homicide unit of Winnipeg Police Service. Bell-Wright's criminal history includes a conviction for assault about two years ago.


Nicholas Bell-Wright, pictured above, is in custody and is being charged for second-degree in Nemeth's death. Photo via Instagram

Nemeth's body was found after Roshan Pothumulla, a homeowner who lives on Bayne Crescent in the Valley Gardens area of the city, and his wife heard noise outside on Saturday around 8 PM and called the police. When Pothumulla went behind his house, he saw legs sticking out of a bag in a blue recycling bin.

"I looked and I saw the dumpster and two legs sticking out from the... bin," Pothumulla told CBC News. "I thought it was somebody making a joke with me, put a dummy inside, like, fooling around." The recycling bin does not belong to the homeowner.

Police have stated that they believe Nemeth was murdered elsewhere from where he was found, and that his body was moved.

Brent Sayles, Nemeth's uncle, tweeted yesterday that the family will be making a public statement within the next few days.

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