Red Deer saw three homicides in 2016, one more than the year prior and more than 2014 or 2013 combined when there were zero.
Though not Red Deer’s deadliest year of recent memory, that title belongs to 2011 when six people were murdered in the city.
“Three homicides in Red Deer in 2016 were three too many,” said superintendent Ken Foster. “I’m pleased that RCMP were able to conclude all three homicide files quickly, arresting and charging suspects in all three files. Those arrests and charges can’t bring back the three Red Deerians whose lives were tragically cut short, but we hope the arrests might bring some small comfort to their grieving families and friends.”
Tina Pfeiffer, 50, was the most recent victim. She was found dead on Oct. 27 in a West Park apartment. Jordan Koizumi, 26, of Red Deer is charged with second degree murder in the incident.
He remains in custody.
A man was killed on March 16 trying to prevent thieves from stealing his truck. Dawson James “D.J.” Wegner Cramer, 23, was found in distress in a Normandeau alley early that morning. He was taken to hospital and died from the injuries he sustained.
Police said the injuries he sustained were consistent with having been hit by a vehicle. Wegner Cramer’s Ford F-650 was reported as a suspicious vehicle in the nearby Pines neighbourhood. Two suspects were seen leaving the vehicle and headed into the nearby woods.
Alexander Michael Talbot is charged with manslaughter.
About a month before, the first homicide of 2016 in Red Deer occurred. William Blaine Baker, 47, was dropped off at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on Feb. 13. He died shortly after he was left at the hospital.
Shane Dion McPhee is charged with second degree murder. He is scheduled to stand trial in Spring 2018.
“RCMP are fortunate to be able to draw on highly skilled resources from across the province when investigating and solving heinous crimes like homicides. We have units with specialized training in homicide and crime scene investigation techniques, forensics, interview techniques and the drafting of judicial authorizations, to name just a few,” said Foster.
“Red Deer RCMP engage in tremendous prevention work, with a goal of mitigating the tragic occurrence of crimes such as homicide. Our participation in the Priority Crimes Task Force, our crime reduction plan Project Pinpoint and our Annual Policing Plan goals all focus on reducing persons and property crimes, reducing the impact of organized crime, including the drug trade and the associated crime that comes along with it, and increasing safety in the community.”