A Lake Country man, known to family and friends for his sensitivity and caring for others, has been killed in Haiti.
According to a Facebook post by friend Robert Atwood, Ben Elias was killed earlier this month while travelling between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where Ben was originally from.
“Ben died in the same way that he lived, defending a loved one. As his cousin was being mugged, Ben intervened and was murdered for his actions.”
The post notes that the “details of the event are foggy and likely to change or never be fully understood.”
Atwood wrote fondly of his friend.
“Ben was incredibly intelligent. He loved to be at the centre of debate, a master at verbal sparring. Ben also had the rare talent of being able to change his mind, which led to me frequently changing mine. He was passionate, gregarious, sensitive, and caring.”
Ben returned to Haiti often, splitting his time between Canada and the country of his birth. Working in Canada, Ben would return home, sponsoring children, schools, and his community, according to Atwood’s post.
Ben’s body is currently in Haiti and a fundraiser has been started to support bringing him back to Canada, pay for funeral costs and to continue supporting his philanthropic efforts.
The fundraising page states that control of the fund will be turned over to Ben’s family once they are ready.
“My heart goes to the entire Elias clan, the community that Ben cherished so much in Haiti, and our small group of boyhood friends that will forever be forced to talk about Ben and not with him,” Atwood’s post concludes.