Pair held after man dies following fight

A man and a woman are in police custody after a 40-year-old man died following a fight in a Fairview residence in Red Deer early Thursday.

An RCMP identification officer crosses under crime scene tape to videotape at 2 Forest Close where a homicide victim was found Thursday.

An RCMP identification officer crosses under crime scene tape to videotape at 2 Forest Close where a homicide victim was found Thursday.

A man and a woman are in police custody after a 40-year-old man died following a fight in a Fairview residence in Red Deer early Thursday.

Yellow police crime tape surrounded the front yard of a white bungalow on quiet Forest Close, north of Bower Ponds, as Red Deer RCMP investigated this city’s first homicide of 2011.

Const. Chris Kosack said investigators aren’t yet sure how the New Brunswick man died or whether weapons were involved. “We’re hoping to find the cause and the means of death after the autopsy is performed” by the Calgary medical examiner’s office today.

RCMP and Red Deer Emergency Services were dispatched to the residence at about 2:50 a.m. on Thursday. Kosack said someone from the house had made a 911 call after an alleged “physical altercation” between two males.

Police found a man dead at the scene. Kosack couldn’t describe the victim’s injuries and said police also wouldn’t know whether alcohol was involved until toxicology tests are done.

He also didn’t know whether the homicide victim had recently moved to Red Deer or was just visiting the city. But he said the deceased will not be named until next-of-kin are notified, and agree to make it public.

Three people were in the house early on Thursday morning, and the victim and suspects knew each other, said Kosack.

The two people in custody are a man, 36, and a woman, 37, both from Red Deer. They have not yet been charged and Kosack could not confirm whether either were residents of the home on Forest Close.

“Christ, it’s a shock,” said neighbour Les Talbot, who had only moved onto the close a month ago.

Talbot, who hadn’t heard any disturbances, said he had only a few conversations with the female neighbour who lives in the home, and she seemed nice.

It’s scary to have a homicide happen right next door, said Talbot.

But across-the-street neighbour John Burnham took it more in stride, saying this could happen anywhere. “It’s a beautiful, quiet street. . . . What are you going to do?”

Burnham said his wife was awake at the time of the alleged altercation but didn’t hear anything. He added the woman living in the home where the homicide happened has parents living on the same close.

Police on scene included Red Deer City RCMP general investigation section, forensic identification section and the major crimes unit.

Anyone with information is asked to call the city RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com