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).

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

murder

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teresa Kutynec, Red Deer Christmas Bureau president, dressed up as Mrs. Claus during the Charity Checkstop on Saturday. The event supports four nonprofit organizations: the Christmas Bureau, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Red Deer Food Bank and Women’s Outreach Centre. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Charity Checkstop raises money for nonprofit organizations

Red Deerians can support four local nonprofit organizations without even having to… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo).
Woman ‘beyond frustrated’ by Red Deer College program’s volunteer requirements

Teddie Briggs says she was “beyond frustrated” after learning Red Deer College’s… Continue reading

Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts, of Red Deer are trying to spread the word about a new innovation for wheelchairs that they think will be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Brayden Watts)
Red Deer company lands exclusive patent rights to wheelchair extension

By some small miracle, Hugh Danielson and Brayden Watts stumbled upon a… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Employee at Bethany CollegeSide in Red Deer tests positive for COVID-19

An employee at a Red Deer continuing care facility has tested positive… Continue reading

The Government of Alberta has identified 1,828 new cases and 15 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the provincial death toll to 590. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 1,828 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Central zone has 1,251 active cases

The commemorative plaque is seen on the outside wall at the Polytechnique in Montreal, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Sunday will mark the 31st anniversary of the murder of 14 women in an antifeminist attack at Ecole Polytechnique on December 6, 1989. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Scaled-back, virtual ceremonies to mark 31st anniversary of Polytechnique killings

MONTREAL, France — The anniversary of the attack that cut short the… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he skateboards along a street in Montreal, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
COVID-19 cases hit new records as Tam urges perseverance, promises vaccine on the way

Canada’s top doctor urged cautious optimism — and a healthy dose of… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Manitoba judge rules church can’t hold drive-in services forbidden by health order

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba judge has rejected a church’s request to hold… Continue reading

Homeowners Cora and Alec Dion pose in the basement of their home in Fort McMurray, Alta., on May 8, 2020. More than seven months ago, the Dions were forced to flee Fort McMurray for the second time in four years as a spring flood threatened their home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Halinda
Fort McMurray residents still cleaning, considering options after spring flooding

‘It’s worse than just having water, because it’s ice mixed in with the water’

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Anand says as soon as she knows when the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will arrive on Canadian soil, she will share that information with the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Negotiating contracts for vaccines in development needed flexibility: Anand

Health Canada officials are days, maybe even hours, away from approving the COVID-19 vaccine

Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota rises in the House of Commons, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in Ottawa. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Speaker Rota reflects on first year presiding over unprecedented virtual Parliament

‘It’s not what I signed up for but it is what it is’

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max draw

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Hay’s Daze: Not used to seeing giraffe with a mask

My bad. Now there’s an expression that used to stick in my… Continue reading

Most Read