Many Innisfail residents were relieved to hear a suspect was arrested by police on the weekend in connection with an explosion that killed a 23-year-old disabled mother last November.
Mayor Jim Romane said the blast that ended the life of Victoria Shachtay on Nov. 25 also shattered the town’s peace of mind. “This is a small community, and a lady was targeted . . . a lot of people were thinking, ‘What on earth does this mean?’ ”
Although police had stated the murder was not a random attack, Romane believes most residents of the community “will still be relieved to see that this will hopefully be resolved soon.”
On Sunday, Edmonton RCMP’s K Division announced that Brian Malley, 55, of Innisfail, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. He’s also charged with causing an explosion likely to cause serious harm or death and sending an explosive device.
Shachtay, who had been using a wheelchair since a 2004 car accident, was killed after a package left at the door of her residence exploded.
The woman’s daughter, Destiny, age seven, was in school at the time. But Shachtay’s caregiver, a woman in her 30s, was in the home at the time of the blast.
Shachtay’s murder led to a six-month investigation, led by the RCMP K Division Serious Crimes Branch. It involved more than 70 investigators working thousands of hours gathering evidence.
On Friday and into the weekend, police investigators executed a search warrant at an Innisfail home. Special Tactical Operations forces, forensic services and police dogs were used.
Although the search also involved RCMP explosives experts, police say the operation did not pose any risk to the public.
Malley was later arrested and taken into police custody. He’s expected to make his first appearance at Red Deer provincial court on Monday morning.
The RCMP are also expected to release more details on the case Monday.
Romane believes some town residents may be shocked to realize they know the man who was arrested. The mayor said he doesn’t know the suspect, “I’ve just heard his name around . . . I believe he’s been a resident here for some time.”