The RCMP has laid charges in the death of two people in Hay River, N.W.T.

Benedict Corrigal, 53, has been arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder.

The RCMP responded to a call for help at the Mackenzie Place highrise early Thursday morning and found two people dead.

The police have confirmed the victims were a 48-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man.

The man’s cousin, Beatrice Lepine, identified him as Garfield McPherson. The woman's son, Luther Simpson, identified her as Carol Doris Buggins.

Lepine said McPherson was like a brother to her family, calling him a warm-hearted man. She said he was a fisherman for more than 50 years and was happiest out on the water.

According to Lepine, McPherson’s body has been sent to Edmonton for an autopsy. Funeral arrangements will be made once the autopsy is complete.

Accused has criminal record

Corrigal, the man charged with the two murders, has a lengthy court record dating back to 1977, including convictions for assault. He was on probation at the time of the deaths.

Police haven't released the cause of the deaths and they won’t confirm if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Corrigal is scheduled to appear in territorial court in Hay River on July 3.

MLA says highrise has troubled history

The apartment building where the two victims were found has a troubled past, according to Hay River South MLA Jane Groenewegen.

She said in a town like Hay River this tragedy will touch just about everyone.

"It's a small town and everybody knows everybody," Groenewegen said. "So you know when you hear something like that you know it will be somebody you know. When a tragedy hits a small town it really goes far and wide in a hurry."