FORT FRANCES, Ont. – A neighbour of Fort Frances murder victims Carol Affleck, 66, and her 77-year-old husband Lovern Affleck, said it was her dog who clued her in something was amiss next door.
When Kathleen Debenetti, who lives at Lakeview Trailer Park, finally climbed out of bed, she was stunned to see heavily armed police putting crime-scene tape up around her neighbours’ property.
DeBenetti said she watched police detail evidence in their driveway, covering something with tarps as more officers arrived on scene.
“There were four policemen, three had rifles and one had a dog and they were going on around the trailer court,” she said in an interview on Wednesday with Dougall Media reporters.
“They passed through my yard several times and through the neighbour’s yard several times and that’s pretty much what I saw for the morning.”
DeBenetti said police initially told her not to leave her home, so she stayed home from work. Later police told her for her and her daughter’s safety they should evacuate the trailer park.
She said the suspect, identified by OPP as 37-year-old Tyler John Cousineau of Fort Frances, was believed to be another neighbour, who lived directly across from the victims.
“The detectives came to my house last night about nine o’clock to ask me some questions and he let me ask him a couple of questions. He told me the suspect surrendered,” DeBenetti said, adding police told her the suspect had been in his house the whole time.
DeBenetti said she believes the couple were from British Columbia and had moved to Fort Frances a few months ago to be close to family.
It was shocking for everyone in the trailer park, which is mostly used by seasonal residents.
“It’s pretty close to home,” she said.
Cousineau has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
Several OPP units remain on scene in Fort Frances investigating the tragedy.
A tip line has been established and police ask anyone with information to phone them at 1-844-677-5040 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be given at www.tipsubmit.com.