Women charged with murder after Edmonton man, 70, found slain last year

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A woman is now the second person charged with first-degree murder after the remains of a 70-year-old man were found in his Edmonton home last year.

It was Jan. 1 of 2023 when police called around 1 pm to the home near 107 Avenue and 106 Street after a report of a sudden death found the man’s body, since identified as 70-year-old Ronald Bell.

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His cause of death, determined by the Edmonton Medical Examiner on Jan. 4, 2023, is being held for investigative reasons.

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Police on Thursday, May 2 of this year, arrested a 37-year-old woman in connection to the case. Edmonton police previously, in July of last year, arrested and charged a man.

Edmonton police Det. Jared Buhler last year said there were clear signs of a struggle at the homicide scene. Police believe Bell was killed several days before his body was found. An extinguished fire and an active water leak were found inside the house when officers arrived.

Bell was said to have last communicated with friends in the early afternoon of Dec. 27, 2022. He was the primary resident of the home and rented the space to tenants.

Bell’s truck, a black 2011 GMC Sierra, was later found by Calgary police; it was bearing a stolen license plate out of Spruce Grove.

Donn Austin Gauthier, 43, is charged with first-degree murder, arson, indignity to a body, and breach of recognition.

Melissa Norris is charged with first-degree murder.

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