During my late teens and early twenties, I lived in a series of houses with Andrew Niland. We went to the same bars, had the same friends, and were into the same things (computers, body modification, “banned” films, industrial music).
In fact, I ended up going out with and eventually marrying his ex-girlfriend, Bronwyn, after living in the same house as the two of them for more than two years.
Andy was always into piercing, and spent a lot of time at Glen’s piercing parlour, learning from him.
After learning enough from him and experimenting enough that he was confident in his abilities (it didn’t take long; Andy was always brilliant, and very quick at learning what he was interested in), Andy left Ireland and went to Canada, where he ended up working for the Sacred Art tattoo parlour in North Bay, Ontario.
By that time, we’d lost touch with each other over after an argument where we all ended up moving house (we drank a lot, were young, and seriously, don’t go out with your best friend’s ex-girlfriend while living in the same house as him because that’s a recipe for disaster).
Andy had been in court in Ontario over a really stupid law which claims that some body modification is ok, but others should be regarded as “aggravated assault”, even though it’s all done consensually.
A few weeks ago, he vanished. On August 4th, he was last seen at 6.30pm. When he was missing for a while, his apartment was searched and it was found that he’d left his wallet there. A lot of fuss was made over this online, but this was not unusual for Andy.
Yesterday, Andy was found. The police won’t confirm it’s him, but how you could not identify a guy who has distinctive piercings and huge stars tattooed on his forehead, is beyond me. Besides, people close to him have confirmed it’s him.
An autopsy is to be held on Monday. At the best, this was a camping accident. At the worst, it was murder. We’ll have to wait and see.
Update (Sep 2): Police in North Bay have said that “there is no foul play suspected“. As usual with police, they have not offered any of the other pieces of information which people would really like to know, like “what actually happened?”.