Deaths of two chil­dren treated as homi­cides

Edmonton Journal - - FRONT PAGE - JU­RIS GRANEY

Neigh­bours are in shock as they try to process the news that homi­cide de­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the sus­pi­cious deaths of two chil­dren at a south­east Ed­mon­ton apart­ment.

In an emailed state­ment late Thurs­day, po­lice said the kids were found in an apart­ment at Allen Manor at 7920 71 Street in the King Ed­ward Park neigh­bour­hood the day prior.

Foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors were on scene all day Thurs­day comb­ing not only the base­ment apart­ment but dump­sters out­side in the al­ley for ev­i­dence.

Aaron Ste­wart, who lives across from apart­ments, said he was as­ton­ished at the large po­lice pres­ence he saw from his bal­cony.

“I’ve never seen so many po­lice … this whole place was lit up,” he said.

Po­lice said it all started at around 5:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day when of­fi­cers went to the area for a re­port of a woman who had been as­saulted.

Of­fi­cers found a woman in dis­tress who had been se­ri­ously in­jured.

About three hours later, po­lice were called to a garage break-in a few blocks away, at 73 Street and 80 Av­enue, and found a man who was re­port­edly act­ing er­rat­i­cally.

Of­fi­cers de­ter­mined that the man was a sus­pect in the ear­lier as­sault of the woman and ar­rested him.

Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions led po­lice back to the apart­ment where the kids were found dead.

De­spite the en­tire apart­ment com­plex be­ing cor­doned off with crime tape and po­lice cruis­ers sta­tioned on two sides of the build­ing Thurs­day, res­i­dents were al­lowed to come and go.

An up­stairs neigh­bour said a man and a woman in the base­ment apart­ment had been ar­gu­ing and yelling at each other on and off for about three days prior to the grisly dis­cov­ery.

Cris­tian To­bar, who has lived at the ad­dress for about a year, said the woman and her daugh­ter moved in a cou­ple of months ago. The woman’s grand­mother also lived there, he said.

The young girl was about five or six years old, he said.

The first To­bar knew of the deaths was when po­lice knocked on his door and asked if he had heard any­thing.

He told them he had heard yelling com­ing from his down­stairs neigh­bour’s apart­ment and from in the hall­way at around 2 a.m., but he thought noth­ing of it be­cause it had hap­pened so of­ten.

“Ev­ery­body heard the yelling, peo­ple on the top floor would have heard the yelling,” To­bar said.

“It makes me sick be­cause I have kids, too. Sick to the stom­ach. I thought you only see this stuff in the movies. It’s just un­real.

“It’s pretty sad. When I heard there were kids in­volved … I just can’t stom­ach it.”

Ste­wart said he, too, heard the yelling and scream­ing from the apart­ment the pre­vi­ous morn­ing.

“I never thought it would be that se­ri­ous,” he said.

“It’s just bru­tal.”

Po­lice are hold­ing a short news con­fer­ence Fri­day morn­ing to re­lease fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the case.

GREG SOUTHAM

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate Thurs­day near an apart­ment at 79 av­enue and 71 Street where two chil­dren were found dead a day ear­lier. Po­lice say they will re­lease more in­for­ma­tion about the case Fri­day.

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