Mother's slaying may have been witnessed by children in Clearwater, B.C.
Man accused of killing estranged common-law wife will likely face 1st-degree murder charge
The community of Clearwater, B.C., is in shock and mourning after the mother of three young children was found dead.
No charges have yet been laid, but police are recommending a charge of first-degree murder against a man said to be the woman's estranged common-law husband.
Clearwater RCMP said the woman's body was found in her Stegg Road home at around 10 a.m. PT Monday morning, after police were called to check on her well-being.
Police determined the death was due to homicide, and believe she was killed Sunday night. There was no sign of the children at the home.
The suspect, the woman's former partner, was arrested Monday night following a seven-hour-long standoff with police at a home just outside of town, where three young children were also taken into custody.
Police said the children, who are all under the age of seven, were physically unharmed.
Professionals have been called in to interview the children to determine whether they were witnesses to their mother's death.
A close friend of the dead woman, whose name has not been released by police, told CBC News that her friend separated from her partner about a month ago.
Clearwater Mayor John Harwood said he knew the victim well, and news of the tragedy is hitting him and many others hard in the community of just over 2,300.
"When it seems to happen in small towns, it affects so many more people," he said. "There is only one school, so the child that is in school attends that school, so that affects the children there."
He said counsellors were being brought in to help teachers and students at the elementary school.
Clearwater is a district municipality in B.C.'s North Thompson River valley, approximately 130 kilometres north of Kamloops.
Google Map: Clearwater, B.C.
With files from the CBC's Steve Lus