Police investigating suspicious death of 70-year-old at Dartmouth care home

Halifax police say they are investigating the suspicious death of a 70-year-old man at a continuing care facility in Dartmouth.

Halifax Regional Police were called to Clarmar Residential Care Facility just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday

The Clarmar Residential Care Facility is located at 200 Main St. in Dartmouth. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

Halifax police say they are investigating the suspicious death of a 70-year-old man at a continuing care facility in Dartmouth.

Officers were called to Clarmar Residential Care Facility, at 200 Main St., just before 9 p.m. Wednesday following the report of an assault, Halifax Regional Police said in a statement.

It was reported that a 64-year-old man got into a physical altercation with a 70-year-old man. Both were residents of the facility. A short time later, the 70-year-old suffered a "medical event" and paramedics were called, but the man ultimately died at the scene.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Dianne Penfound confirmed the altercation happened inside the Clarmar facility, but declined to release any other details about what happened.

The 64-year-old was arrested and taken to police headquarters for questioning, but he was released without charge on Thursday evening. 

Determining cause of death

An autopsy was conducted Thursday morning by the medical examiner's office, but according to police, more testing is needed to determine cause of death.

"This was anticipated to take some time," said Penfound. 

The investigation is ongoing.

CBC News has gained information through a freedom-of-information request that shows there were 23 confirmed cases of physical abuse at long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia between January 2015 and October 2017. 

Those 23 incidents included instances of abuse by both staff and residents. The incidents happened at 18 different facilities. None of the incidents in that time period happened at Clarmar Residential Care.

Clarmar is licensed for 24 beds. Staff there said they could not comment Thursday on the incident.