A relative described the victims as generous men who were trying to do what they could for their families

By Chris Harris
April 02, 2020 12:30 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Nobleford & District Emergency Services; Facebook

On Saturday, as they hunted for food for their families after one lost his job amid the coronavirus pandemic, two Canadian men — an uncle and his nephew — were fatally shot along a rural road in Alberta, and police are investigating who killed them.

According to local reports from the National Post, the Edmonton Journal, and the Calgary Sun, Jake Sansom, 39, and Morris Cardinal, 57, were found dead on Saturday, a day after heading out on a moose hunt.

The Friday hunt was successful, as they returned home with one moose. They immediately went back out for a second.

The bodies were discovered on a country road near a black pickup truck early Saturday morning, north of Glendon, Alberta.

Relatives told Royal Canadian Mounted Police the uncle and nephew set out Friday to fish and hunt moose near Seibert Lake.

The papers report Sansom had just been laid off from his job as a heavy duty mechanic in Nobleford, and that both victims identified as Métis, aboriginal Canadian people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry.

They had ancestral rights to hunt the land where they were found slain.

Mike Sansom, Jake’s brother and Cardinal’s nephew, spoke to the Edmonton Journal and said the two men were generous people who were doing what they could for their families.

“I felt like my heart has been ripped through my stomach and I haven’t been able to eat for three days,” he said through tears on Monday, the paper reports. “They helped everybody. Nobody had a problem with them … They got murdered for no reason. There’s nothing. There’s no reason for it.”

Jake Sansom was married with three children, ages 8, 11 and 13. Cardinal — a former tree feller — had five grandchildren and three stepchildren.

Mike Sansom said his brother had run out of cash for groceries, so he planned to hunt down two moose: one to feed his family, and another to feed his uncle’s children.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Police want anyone with information about the murders to come forward. They are especially curious to hear from anyone who may have seen two trucks driving in the area where the bodies were found the night before.

Information can be phoned into the Royal Canadian Mountain Police of Alberta at (403) 343-5575.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to support Sansom’s family.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.