Woman dead in 2nd suspicious death in Dartmouth in 2 days

Police are investigating the death of a woman in Dartmouth and officers are looking into whether it is connected to a weekend homicide in the same neighbourhood.

Officers were called to 3 Farthington Place early Sunday morning

Halifax police are releasing few details about the victim. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

Halifax Regional Police are investigating what they say is a suspicious death of a woman in Dartmouth and officers are looking into whether it is connected to a weekend homicide in the same neighbourhood.

Police say they found the woman dead when they arrived at 3 Farthington Place early Sunday morning. They received a 911 call just before 4 a.m. from someone who had gone to the apartment, said Const. Carol McIsaac. 

She said officers are still working to confirm the woman's identity. The Major Crime Unit and Forensic Identification Section are investigating

Any sudden or unexplained death is treated as suspicious until the medical examiner can determine a cause.

Residents reported more than a dozen cop cars at the apartment complex early Sunday morning. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

There are currently no suspects in custody, McIsaac said.

On Saturday, police determined the death of 42-year-old Derek Miles in Dartmouth Friday night was a homicide.

Miles was found in medical distress and pronounced dead at an apartment on Pinecrest Drive, two blocks away from Farthington Place.

Homicide not considered random

McIsaac said his death is not considered random. 

"There's nothing yet to indicate that [the two deaths] are connected, but we're not ruling it out. It's really, really early in both investigations," McIssac said.

"We do not believe the public has any reason to fear for their safety. We do believe there are people in the community who have knowledge of both deaths and we would suggest they would contact the police."

Police are asking anyone with information in this incident to call police at 902-490-5020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Members of the Halifax Regional Police's forensic identification unit were at the scene Sunday. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Building residents told to stay inside

There was a large police presence at the Farthington Place apartment complex Sunday morning. Officers required residents to stay inside or provide identification to police if they wanted to leave during the morning.

By the afternoon, only those on the fourth floor were still required to stay inside unless escorted in and out by police, McIsaac said. 

She said it wasn't clear how long that would be necessary. 

"The scene is through the building," McIsaac said. "Due to the collection of evidence, the scene is a larger scene. And we would not want any contamination of any evidence," she said.

Max Jones, a student at Saint Mary's University, has lived in the apartment building for three years. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

Building resident Erik Mitchell said Sunday morning that he was not surprised to open his window to find the building surrounded by police cars.

"I bring my dog out for a walk every morning, and as soon as I opened my door there were police by my door telling me we weren't allowed even to leave the building," he said. 

Mitchell said he hears about crime in the neighbourhood all the time.

"I'm scared for my wife's safety," he said. 

Residents of the apartment complex said they were told to stay inside or show ID to police if they wanted to leave. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Max Jones, a university student who has lived in the apartment building for three years, was told it was a crime scene.

"I had to go around to get my name, date of birth and phone number taken down before I could leave," he said. "There's a lot of bad rap, but there are some really kind people here."

Police presence is nothing new in the neighbourhood, said Crystal Brushett, but she's never had a death so close to home.

"If you keep to yourself, you're fine, just like any place but like I see cop cars here all the time," she said. 

With files from Marina von Stackelberg and Emma Smith