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Family left in dark about state investigation into Canterbury death

The mother of a Danbury man whose death Sunday in Canterbury has been the source of a still-quiet state investigation said yesterday that he and the older man on whose property he was found severely injured were the “best of friends.”

Linda Kelso said the relationship between her son, Mark Kelso, 53, and the older man, Pete Fife, was “absolutely awesome.” So she was baffled, she said in an interview, as to why the state police’s Major Crime Unit has been so interested in his death.

On Wednesday, Fife said Kelso had been doing logging work for him near his house on Borough Road, in a remote area of town. He said he found Kelso next to a skidder about 11 a.m., with injuries “all over.”

“We don’t know what happened,” Linda Kelso said. She said Kelso had been logging most of his life, and she believed he was working alone Sunday. She said she had not been in contact with Fife since the incident.

“The state police and the attorney general’s office haven’t told us anything,” she said. “We’re sitting here, waiting, but we know we’ll eventually have answers.”

Fife declined Wednesday to discuss the investigation, but said he called 911 when he found Kelso. An official with the Major Crime Unit has not returned repeated requests for comment. The attorney general’s office declined to comment Wednesday, adding that any further information would be released through a press statement.

In an obituary yesterday, Kelso’s family said he “loved the outdoors and nature, and would never have been one to punch a time clock. He respected the land and landowners whenever he did a job for them. He always told his family that when his time came, it would be doing what he loved, hopefully in the woods. Unfortunately that was not the case.”

“Mark loved his family,” they wrote. “He was loyal to all of them. He had a lot of friends and logging buddies whom he cared for like family. We pray he’s celebrating with his friends Tom Wilder and Charlie Beck.”

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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