Autopsy points to homicide

Police are investigating Red Deer’s second murder of the year.

Police are investigating Red Deer’s second murder of the year.

An autopsy confirmed the death of Thomas Patrick Braconnier, 46, early Christmas morning was a homicide on Tuesday.

The cause of death has not been released.

RCMP Insp. Gibson Glavin said police are continuing to search for clues but are appealing to the public for information that may help with the investigation.

Glavin said a number of potential suspects have been ruled out thanks to tips from the public.

The body of Braconnier, a resident of the Buffalo Hotel, was found around 5 a.m. on Christmas in a vestibule on Ross St. in downtown Red Deer.

Just five weeks ago Alan Beach, 31, of Red Deer, was stabbed to death in the parking lot of Village Mall on Nov. 18. Daniel Boyd Sawyer, 31, also of Red Deer is charged with second degree murder in Beach’s death. But police are looking for a second “armed and dangerous” suspect in the stabbing death.

The second suspect is described as a Caucasian man, about 30 years old with short dark hair and clean shaven. He is about 1.77 metres (five-foot-10) tall and weighs about 200 pounds. At the time of the incident he wore a dark coloured jacket, dark pants and a dark coloured baseball cap with a white logo on the front. He may be travelling in a black pickup truck.

It was the city’s first recorded homicide in two years.

There were four murders in both 2012 and 2013.

Only a year before, Red Deer recorded six homicides earning Canada’s murder capital in 2011 including the Christmas Day death of Shaughn Lumley who was found dead in his apartment building on 61st Street and 58th Avenue on Christmas Day. Stephanie Walroth was sentenced to nine years in prison for strangling the man to death.

Contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477, if they have any information that may assist the police in either the Beach or Braconnier deaths.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com