A 39-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his common-law wife in Rothesay on Wednesday.

Adam Lee Steven Prest is accused of killing Tanya Marie Shand, 33.

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Adam Prest, 39, of Rothesay, will return to court on June 10. (Facebook)

Prest, who is orginally from Dartmouth, N.S., made a brief appearance in Saint John provincial court on Thursday, wearing jeans, a blue windbreaker and sneakers.

He frowned at his shackled feet as the charge was read. He has not yet entered a plea.

Prest has been remanded in custody at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre until June 10, when he is expected to have hired a lawyer.

He was arrested on Wednesday morning after Rothesay Regional Police were called to 134 Dolan Rd. at about 5 a.m.

Det. Sgt. Craig MacDougall described the case as a domestic homicide.

Shand's body was removed from the apartment at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday. An autopsy was conducted in Saint John on Thursday.

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The apartment door remained sealed with police caution tape on Thursday. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Police are not releasing the cause of death and will not say whether any weapons were involved.

Prest and Shand have a seven-year-old daughter together, according to their Facebook profiles.

Prest describes her birth as a "life event" on his page and describes her as his "little monster."

It's unclear whether the girl was home at the time.

MacDougall would not address any questions about a child being involved.

A police cruiser was blocking access to the driveway of the Silverwood Apartments building much of the day on Wednesday.

Only residents were allowed access to the six-unit building.

The apartment door remained sealed with yellow caution tape on Thursday, a small blue and pink bicycle outside.

Neighbours approached by CBC News on Thursday said they didn't know the couple, but were shocked such a tragedy could happen in their quiet neighbourhood.

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Rothesay police were blocking access to Silverwood Apartments on Dolan Road on Wednesday afternoon. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Carmen Gill, director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation in Fredericton, says it's almost impossible to determine why domestic violence occurs.

But co-operation between victim services could help ensure it doesn't happen, she said.

"When I'm hearing about domestic homicide in New Brunswick or even in Canada, I feel that we're failing somewhere in responding to domestic violence," said Gill.

"So I think we need to work ahead, before domestic homicide occurs. So we really need to have the right services, we need to work in strong collaboration. People need to work together."

The investigation continues.