Thursday, 22 February 2024

Family mourns murdered brother, searches for answers

CLEARLAKE – The family of a man who was stabbed to death Sunday night remembered him as caring, kind and generous, and expressed disbelief over his murder.


Nicolai Chukreeff, 40, was stabbed to death in an incident Sunday night that took place at the Harbor Lite Resort on Lakeshore, according to a Monday Clearlake Police report.


Clearlake Police had not made any arrests on Monday in connection with the murder.


“I want the person caught, whoever did it,” said Chukreeff's younger sister, Michelle Giguiere of Santa Rosa.


Giguiere said her brother was born in San Jose and spent most of his youth in Santa Rosa. He was the second-oldest of five children, which included three boys and two girls.


Chukreeff's other sister, Ellena, said he had lived in Clearlake for the last five years. For two decades had had worked in construction, with cement work being his specialty.


Earlier this year, he had open heart surgery to repair a defective heart valve, Ellena Chukreeff said. He had spoken to their grandmother last Wednesday after a checkup with his doctor, which showed his heart to be in good condition.


He had looked forward to living a long and healthy life following his surgery, his sisters said.


Nick Chukreeff's sisters said he loved to fish and go boating, and shared his passion for fishing with his family, including his two nephews. He was so good at fishing that they jokingly called him “the fish whisperer.” Giguiere also remembered his great laugh.


“That's what we don't understand,” said Giguiere. “He was so loving. He'd give the shirt off his back to anybody who needed it.”


He also was a father figure to his younger siblings, said Giguiere, all of whom had a difficult upbringing. That, she said, brought all of them closer.


Nick Chukreeff's family-oriented outlook made him particularly protective. Giguiere said recently she had been ill and he made the trip from Clearlake to Santa Rosa just to check in on her. He'd do anything for his family, she said.


“I'm just looking for justice,” Ellena Chukreeff said in an e-mail message to Lake County News.


She also questioned what happened to her brother and who was with him. Neither she nor her sister received information from police on Monday.


Giguiere said the words “only the good die young” keep going through her head.


“My heart hurts so bad, because whoever did this took a really good person,” she said.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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