A Spruce Grove woman who police allege was killed by her husband on Saturday was the mother of five children.
Rienna Nagel, 36, was described by neighbours as someone who was "a fantastic mother" and always spending time with her children.
Christopher Ray Nagel, 36, was taken into police custody on Saturday after his wife was found dead in her Spruce Grove home earlier that day. He has been charged with first-degree murder.
Speaking from a RCMP Cpl. Colette Zazulak said the homicide was being treated as a case of domestic violence.
'She was a fantastic mom. Always with the kids' - Neighbour of the victim Rienna Nagel
"Typically first-degree murder speaks to some degree of planning or premeditation," said Zazulak. "I don't have the details to know if that's the case in this instance, but first-degree murder is a very serious charge."
Police received a 911 call from within the Nagel household sometime early Saturday morning. Officers arrived on the scene at 8 a.m. and remained there conducting their homicide investigation.
Police said none of the Nagels' five children were at the house when they arrived.
One neighbour, who requested his surname not be published, told CBC News that the Nagels were "fantastic people."
"It just blew us away that it happened there," said Jim. "They were a regular, everyday family just like... everybody else around here."
Neighbours had reported seeing the accused being taken out of the house on a stretcher. While Zazulak would not comment on that, she said Nagel did sustain injuries. However, she did not know what they were.
Police confirmed they had been previously called to the Nagel household but no charges were ever laid in relation to domestic violence.
"It is an intimate relationship. And so whenever it is an intimate relationship we look at domestic violence," said Zazulak. “I have no information as to the state of their marriage — whether it was intact, whether they were separated — I know none of that."
Police would not reveal the cause of death. An autopsy will be conducted sometime early in the week. Nagel is scheduled to appear in Stony Plain Provincial Court on Wednesday.
Zazulak offered advice for people in abusive relationships, urging them to seek help.
"Anyone who is struggling in a domestic violence situation, we would encourage them to reach out for help," she said. "Leaving the relationship is certainly the most dangerous time and they should be talking to police, support agencies, people who can help them through it."