‘His story has a right to be told’: Winnipeg family marking difficult anniversary of fatal hit and run

For nine years, Kevin Joss has held his son’s memory close to his heart.

He remembers his son, Cody, as a social, fun-loving young man, who loved getting together with friends and family, watching wrestling, cheering on the Winnipeg Jets, and listening to heavy metal music.

“Always in a cheery mood. Was known for his smile, always smiling,” his father Kevin Joss said from the living room of his home near Headingley, Man.

“He got along with almost everybody. Just an easy-going, simple man.”

Kevin Joss says his son, Cody, was a happy-going young man, who was a big fan of the Winnipeg Jets, wrestling, and heavy metal. Mike Sudoma / Global News

Those memories are sadly all Kevin has left. Cody’s life was tragically cut short on Dec. 19, 2014, when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at Inkster Boulevard and McGregor Street. The driver didn’t stop at the scene. No arrests have ever been made.

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Cody Joss was struck near the intersection of Inkster Boulevard and McGregor Street. File / Global News

The night is still a blur for Kevin.

“A lot of it is still a fog. When it’s been this long, you tend to hold onto the better memories of it all,” Kevin said.

“But our job is to keep it out in the public.”

Kevin said he was at work that night, when he got a call that would forever change his life.

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“I was basically whisked away to the hospital, and I got more details that he was struck and left beside (the road) and that it was a hit and run,” Kevin said.

“And now we’ve been living that for nine years. A hit and run. Somebody just left him at the side of the road.”

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Kevin Joss says he’s determined to keep his son’s story and memory alive. Mike Sudoma / Global News

For the past nine years, Kevin has attended Winnipeg police press conferences and annual vigils, putting out the plea for any information that could be the missing piece in Cody’s case.

But not having any justice or closure is something that only magnifies the pain of losing Cody in such a tragic way, Kevin says. He also says he’s found some comfort and support through the Manitoba Organization for Victim Assistance, also known as MOVA.

“Knowing other people and hearing other stories (in) sessions when you get together and talk can be rather emotional, rather traumatic, but having that support system there, it’s crucial.” Kevin said.

MOVA president Karen Wiebe, who lost her own son in a 2003 homicide, says unsolved cases bring an elevated level of trauma to families and loved ones of victims of crime.

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“In Cody’s case, horrendous, horrendous that a young person’s life was taken and nobody will speak up about it. Nobody will give any clues or any hints,” Wiebe told Global News.

“I suspect that the police probably know who did it. I suspect there are a number of people who know who did it. But without the proof, they can’t move forward. And if nobody comes forward, Cody’s family then lives in limbo.”

Karen Wiebe runs the Manitoba Organization for Victim Assistance. She lost her own son in a 2003 homicide in Winnipeg. Marney Blunt / Global News

She says while an arrest likely won’t bring the family any closure, it will allow them to move forward.

“It’s been so many years and they’re still in limbo and they’re waiting for somebody to have the courage to step forward and say ‘this is what happened, I know what happened’ and at least allow them to turn a page in their book,” she said. “There’s certainly not going to be any closure, but allow the Joss’ to turn a page and say, ‘OK, this is what’s happened, now I can move onto the next step’.”

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“When you don’t know who stole the most precious thing in the world from you — and won’t give it back, can’t give it back — there can’t be anything more devastating than that,” Wiebe added.

Winnipeg police last held a press conference on Cody Joss’ case in December 2022. Since then, officers say there have been no new investigational avenues to pursue.

The family holds a vigil at the intersection of Inkster and McGregor one year after Cody’s death. File / Global News

Kevin said even though times goes by, he’ll keep sharing his son’s story to ensure Cody’s story never fades out of memory.

“In my eyes, somebody wrote Cody off…. They wrote him off, right off the beginning. Boom. Off to the side of the road. I’m going to flee like a coward,” Kevin said through tears.

“My son was here…. We were gifted to have his presence for 21 years, and he shouldn’t be written off like that. His story has a right to be told right to the end.”

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Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police, family renew calls for tips in fatal hit and run, 8 years after death of Cody Joss'

Winnipeg police, family renew calls for tips in fatal hit and run, 8 years after death of Cody Joss

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