222: A number that tied a Kelowna murder victim to his loved ones long after he was gone - InfoNews

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222: A number that tied a Kelowna murder victim to his loved ones long after he was gone

Christopher Ausman's body was found on the sidewalk in the 100 block of Highway 33 early in the morning on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2014.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Facebook
May 16, 2019 - 9:11 AM

KELOWNA - The number 222 held a lot of significance to Christopher Ausman.

It was his house address when he was growing up and his daughter was born February 22 in a hospital room numbered 222.

“It was important to him,” said Cpl. Shane O'Rouric, Nov. 19, 2016, when interviewing Steven Pirko, the man now charged with Ausman's Jan. 25, 2014 murder.

After Ausman was killed, 222 took on new meaning.

Friends started a Facebook page called In loving memory of Chris Ausman, and everyone associated with him put up pictures of 222, when it popped up in their lives.

“They felt it was a spiritual way Chris was talking to them,” O’Rouric told Pirko.

“Then, the other day when you were arrested, a friend of Chris’s was at the casino and won $222.”

Perhaps the most significant 222 in that time had to do with Pirko.

“You were arrested at 2:21 p.m. but placed in the police car at 2:22 p.m.,” O’Rouric said.

“I’m not a spiritual person myself, I don’t know if that was Chris (saying) something to us. But I know you were put in a police car at 2:22 p.m.”

The numerical thread that tied Ausman to his loved ones in the aftermath of his killing offered the first glimpse of the life that was taken away.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP had their eyes on the man charged in Chris Ausman's death years earlier

Jurors have spent the better part of three weeks watching video surveillance that showed Ausman in 7-Eleven, Pirko and his friend walking down the street and the moment they cross paths.

They’ve also heard about the way evidence was collected and analyzed in painstaking detail.

Wednesday, March 16, offered a view of how the evidence against Pirko finally culminated in a long-awaited confession.

READ MORE: Pirko tells investigators he killed Chris Ausman

Despite his denials, Cpl. Eric Boucher told Pirko police knew had been talking about Ausman. He said it was harder to find someone Pirko knew who hadn’t been told the events that led to Ausman’s death Jan. 25, 2014. There were even text messages discussing it in police possession, he said.

Pirko still said he had nothing to say.

With more prodding, and shortly after talking about Ausman and Pirko’s loved ones, he offered a confession.

In a torrent of tears, he admitted he killed Ausman with the hammer.

He hadn’t intended to, he said. Ausman and his friend were fighting and Ausman got the upper hand. He said he hit him in the head with a hammer and Ausman died.

Shortly after 2 a.m., an RCMP officer found Ausman's warm and lifeless body on the sidewalk off Highway 33.

The trial is in its third of what was expected to be five weeks of evidence. It could go as long as eight weeks, but that's not anticipated.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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