Red Deer County alleged murder victim Matthew Berresford had troubled history

The Berresfords were in the news for mysterious fire, tax refund request

Matthew Berresford (Contributed photo).

A mysterious fire and financial hardship dogged a Red Deer County couple in the years before last week’s murder investigation at their home.

RCMP officers were called to a disturbance at the rural residence at about 9:30 a.m. Feb. 27, and found a deceased man inside. The victim was identified as 36-year-old Matthew Berresford.

READ MORE

Woman faces murder charge

The victim’s wife was taken into custody. Robin Berresford, 36, faces a first-degree murder charge.

The Berresfords made the local news at least three times in the past three years.

In November 2015, the couple listed their $7.7-million riverside Red Deer County mansion on Kijiji. This elicited reactions from area residents who expressed surprise on social media that a house worth so much would be listed on the free buy-and-sell site.

On March 2, 2016, the Berresford’s 25,000-square-foot house burned down while no one was home — again igniting much public speculation.

Back then, a neighbour told the Advocate he saw a vehicle pulling away from the property just 10 minutes before flames suddenly engulfed the house, from one end to the other.

Red Deer County investigators concluded the fire was suspicious. Fire Chief Dave Laurin said the files were turned over to Blackfalds RCMP.

Police did their own investigation, but no charges were laid and the file was closed, RCMP Const. Mike Hibbs said Wednesday.

In August 2016, the Berresfords wrote to Red Deer County pleading financial hardship and asking for a $13,400 refund of their paid 2016 property taxes.

“The loss of our home has been a significant financial burden on us,” wrote the couple.

READ MORE

Red Deer County rejects tax relief request

They had wanted a pro-rated portion of their 2016 property taxes to be refunded for the months their house had been “uninhabitable.”

They said this kind of relief was given to hard-hit property owners in the wake of the Fort McMurray wildfire.

But Red Deer County officials did not see it as the same situation, noting the province had stepped in to compensate for municipal tax losses after the wildfire.

While Mayor Jim Wood sympathized with the Berresfords, council unanimously voted against their request.

Matthew’s obituary states he was born in 1982 at the Red Deer hospital and was a successful Red Deer businessman. He married Robin in 2008 and they have two children.

His funeral will be April 3 at 2 p.m. at the Home Church in Red Deer.

Robin Berresford will next appear in Red Deer provincial court on April 5.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: former colleague

A professor who once worked with an RCMP intelligence official charged with… Continue reading

More than 100 people participate in the Light the Night Walk in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Michael Wark was 27 when he was diagnosed with cancer.… Continue reading

‘Big bang’ precedes Red Deer house fire, says neighbour

A Red Deer home was heavily damaged by a fire early Friday… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Grilling meat at Shelter Ribfest in Red Deer

The first-ever Shelter Ribfest is on this weekend at Gary W. Harris… Continue reading

Red Deer man arrested, charged for drug-related offences

A Red Deer man is facing a number of charges, including possession… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 10 effortlessly stylish items for fall

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

UAW members on the job at GM plants after contract expires

DETROIT — The four-year contract between General Motors and the United Auto… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Police seeking multiple suspects in shooting that left 1 dead and 5 wounded

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A teenage boy is dead and five other people… Continue reading

Trump front and centre as talk of trade, jobs emerges on campaign trail

OTTAWA — A familiar U.S. face finally showed up front and centre… Continue reading

RDC Kings and Queens cross country dominate on home turf

There was a lot of pride floating around amongst the host team… Continue reading

Hunting Hills Lightning cruise past Foothills Falcons in high school football action

The Hunting Hills Lightning showed their Football Alberta ranking was no fluke… Continue reading

Two students dead, several seriously injured in Vancouver Island bus rollover

Two University of Victoria students died and several people were injured after… Continue reading

Most Read