Eric was born in Sault Ste. Marie on July 26, 1968, and at an early age was involved in all kinds of recreational activities. He had a gift as a runner and maintained the peak of fitness. His interests took him after graduation from Bawatting Collegiate in Sault Ste. Marie to Carleton University in Ottawa, where he was working on a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Eric’s older brother was an OPP officer and Eric became interested in police work as a result. He was accepted for recruit training on September 4, 1990. Later, while at the Ontario Police College, he set a record for the 1.5-mile race that has never been broken. On graduation he came to the Minden detachment.

Constable Nystedt had been on the job for less than three years when he was called out with a fellow Senior Constable on Saturday July 3, 1993. The two officers were called twice that shift to an assault, domestic occurrence at a location near the village of Kinmount. A man was drunk and his behaviour was said to be endangering others at a cottage in the Furnace Falls area.

At two a.m. the officers were looking for the suspect, who had run off into the bush after having committed an assault. Constable Nystedt was in the rear, passing a small clearing, when suddenly the wanted man came out from behind him and stabbed the young officer in the left leg. The knife severed the left femoral artery and Eric bled to death before he could receive the necessary aid.

A massive search was commenced with fifty officers, a canine unit, members of the TRU team and later a helicopter. Off-duty officers converged on the area to help. Finally, around noon, the suspect came out of the bush and was arrested.

For five years, Eric’s memory was celebrated in a huge annual memorial run in Sault Ste. Marie that raised thousands of dollars for heart and stroke research. An annual golf tournament also recalls the officer who enjoyed all sports. A fitness award in his name is given to the most fit recruit in each OPP Academy class. In 1999, a five-kilometre run and walk was established in Eric’s name in memory of all OPP officers killed on the job. Signs were posted on the route giving the names of the fallen. The last one read, “Let there be no more”.

Eric had such a sunny, pleasant disposition that he warmed the hearts of all those he met. His notable gifts in the field of athletics made him tremendously popular and have served to perpetuate his memory.