Man charged with murder after police found a woman dead in a Hamilton apartment

After a woman was found dead in a Hamilton apartment building, police say, a man has been arrested and charged with second degree murder.

The victim is the city's 11th homicide, police say

The major crime unit is investigating a homicide at an apartment building near King Street East and Sherman Avenue after a woman was found dead. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Police have charged a 39-year-old Hamilton man with second-degree murder after a woman was found dead in his apartment building on Monday night.

Hamilton police say her death is the city's 11th homicide of the year. 

Officers say a 911 call was placed around 9:10 p.m. on Monday about the man needing medical attention in the area of King Street East and Sherman Avenue.

When paramedics and police arrived and found him, one of the officers recognized him as "someone he had dealt with previously," who lived in a nearby building.

Police started investigating how he became injured. They won't comment on the nature of his injuries.

Will Leadley, a resident of the apartment on 907 King Street East, told CBC he knew the suspect and the victim. He also said he was still processing what happened. "That could have been me." (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Will Leadley lives in the building at 907 King Street. He said the suspect was in his apartment unit not long before police arrived.

"He knocked on my door ...  all he said is something about a little birdie told him to come see me ... that was a little weird but I didn't think too much about it," Leadley said.

"He sat down on the floor by my fridge. He sat there for about 15, 20 minutes. I gave him a smoke and then he left. Where he went from there, I have no idea."

Leadley said the man lived with his girlfriend.

Det.-Sgt. Peter Thom with Hamilton Police Service told media that officers entered the man's apartment on the third floor at about 10 p.m.

"The way the male was found [outside] and the extent of his injuries, they felt there may be some other concern for other persons," he explained.

He said they found a woman suffering from signs of trauma. It's unclear how she was injured. Paramedics couldn't save her life. 

The apartment building on 907 King Street East sits next to an abandoned gas station and King Car Wash, just feet away from the corner of Sherman and King in Hamilton's Gibson neighbourhood. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

The major crime unit took over the investigation and the suspect remains in hospital.

"He has undergone surgery. He was arrested earlier on today for the second-degree murder of the female whose identity we have not confirmed at this time," Thom said.

"The male party will be in court shortly this afternoon."

Thom noted the man had minor run-ins with the police near the area.

Investigators have not positively identified the victim, but "have an idea of who she may be."

Forensic investigators worked through the night and examined the building's common areas and the apartment unit.

On Tuesday morning, police were searching outside the apartment, sifting through tall grass with their nightsticks and looking under vehicles for any evidence. They haven't found a weapon.

Hamilton police search under vehicles and in weeds around the crime scene at King Street East and Sherman Avenue South to find anything linked to the homicide investigation. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Police also brought in someone to assess video footage and spoke with the staff at the car wash nearby.

Officers don't think anyone else is involved and will resume the search on Wednesday.

Leadley described the victim as quiet and nice. He says he didn't know the suspect too well, but knew each other as acquaintances.

"I'm frustrated. That could have been me," he said.

"It's a little shock. Still not really sunk in yet."

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Lisa Chambers of the Major Crime Unit at 905-546-3843.

With files from Christine Rankin