Minto trying to cope with double murder

People in Minto are struggling to come to grips with the murder of an elderly couple who were harmless, friendly and always willing to help others.

People in Minto are struggling to come to grips with the murder of an elderly couple who were harmless, friendly and always willing to help others.

They say the savage attack on Fred Fulton, 74, and his common law wife, Veronica Decarie, 70, is almost impossible to believe.

Police haven't revealed a possible motive behind the murders on Tuesday afternoon.

But some Minto residents, such as Chris Doucette, think drugs were probably a factor.

"Well, I've been injured here myself a month ago and I'm not surprised. I had a man come into my home and stab me … and I think it has a lot to do with all the dope myself."

Shannon Lyons used to live next door to the victims on the Slope Road.

He says he can't understand how a crime like this could happen in a little village like Minto.

"You know, it's crazy for someone to do something like that to those two old people who never bothered nobody, you know what I mean? You know as a small community you'd think you were safe but you never know."

Lyons says the atmosphere of the community has changed since Tuesday.

He says people have started locking their doors, something they seldom did before.

Minto Mayor Gary DiPaolo says everyone in the community is feeling a great sense of loss.

He says he was close friends with Fred and Veronica, who contributed to the village in many ways. Fred played guitar with a country music band, which was always available for parties, dances and charity events. He was listed in Minto's Country Music Wall of Fame.

DiPaolo says he simply can't fathom how such a tragedy could have occurred.

"To me, it's incomprehensible how someone could inflict harm on such gentle people that went out of their way to help so many other people. To try to imagine someone harming them even in a sane manner is just not something I can grasp yet."

The bodies of the two victims were discovered in their home on the Slope Road at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Police described the scene as bloody and gruesome.

A 22-year-old-man, Gregory Allan Despres, who lived next door, was arrested early Wednesday morning in Massachusetts.

He was charged with being a fugitive from the law in Canada. Despres had failed to appear in court in Fredericton on Monday for sentencing on two criminal charges.

Last month, he was found guilty of threatening to cause death or bodily harm with a weapon. The person he threatened was not one of the murder victims.

Despres was also wanted by the RCMP and FBI for possible involvement in a double murder.

The Mounties won't confirm or deny whether Despres is the "person of interest" they sought in connection with the Minto killings.

Timothy Cruz, the District Attorney in Plymouth County, Mass., says extradition proceedings to bring Despres back to New Brunswick are just getting underway.

"Although we've received some preliminary paperwork from New Brunswick, I'm sure that the official paperwork will take a little bit of time to be generated in order to make sure the appropriate t's will be crossed and i's will be dotted."

Meanwhile, police in New Brunswick have recovered an important piece of evidence in the case.

RCMP Sergeant Gary Cameron says they have located the car they were looking for in connection with the murders.

The red 1997 Ford Taurus was found Wednesday, just off Highway 3 near McAdam.

Cameron says investigators are also awaiting results of victims' autopsies, which are to be performed in Saint John.