Man charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der af­ter fire

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC - BY COLIN CHISHOLM

The North­east Nova Ma­jor Crimes Unit of the RCMP has charged an Up­per Sackville man in the death of 27-year-old Laura Ross of South Raw­don ear­lier this year.

Joshua Eric Crow­ell, also 27, was ar­rested with­out in­ci­dent in Hal­i­fax and taken into po­lice cus­tody on July 26. Early July 27, Crow­ell was charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

On April 3, 2017, shortly af­ter 9 a.m., East Hants Dis­trict RCMP was called to in­ves­ti­gate a fa­tal struc­ture fire on South Raw­don Road. The fire oc­curred in a shed that was de­tached from an ad­ja­cent home. The re­mains of a woman were dis­cov­ered in­side.

Two young chil­dren were res­cued from the home. The RCMP North­east Nova Ma­jor Crimes Unit took over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and an au­topsy was con­ducted on April 4 by the Nova Sco­tia Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Ser­vice. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined the fire was in­ten­tion­ally set and that the death was a homi­cide.

The crime scene re­mained blocked off for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time, as in­ves­ti­ga­tors could be seen in pa­per suits be­hind lines of po­lice tape. “To­day’s charge is the di­rect re­sult of the sig­nif­i­cant amount of time and re­sources ded­i­cated to find­ing the per­son re­spon­si­ble for this tragic and un­timely death,” Cpl. Jen­nifer Clarke, a me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tive with the RCMP, said.

“Al­though it will not bring Laura back, it is our hope that we are able to pro­vide much needed an­swers to her fam­ily.”

She also asked that any­one with any in­for­ma­tion in the mur­der come for­ward.

“If there are de­tails out there that peo­ple may feel are im­por­tant, we al­ways en­cour­age peo­ple to give us a call,” she said. Dur­ing the course of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the North­east Nova Ma­jor Crimes Unit re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant amount of as­sis­tance from East Hants, Hal­i­fax, Colch­ester and Kings Dis­trict RCMP, Foren­sic Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Ser­vices, Po­lice Dog Ser­vices, Truth Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Ser­vices, Traf­fic Ser­vices, Spe­cial Tac­ti­cal Op­er­a­tions and Street Crime En­force­ment Units from across the prov­ince.

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