Police have charged 25-year-old Richard Deleeuw of Hay River with second-degree murder in the death of Linda Lafferty Monday night.
The incident took place shortly after 10 p.m. at Lafferty’s home on Cranberry Crescent.
Hay River RCMP officers received a call at 10:19 p.m. and found the victim in need of emergency aid at the scene, according to a police press release. The victim was transported to hospital where it is reported she died shortly before midnight.
Lafferty was Deleeuw’s mother and had just turned 52, according to family members, who declined to give their names.
“I woke up, got up off the couch when I heard somebody screen. All of a sudden I saw the RCMP lights outside. When I got outside they were giving somebody CPR, so I ran over to check it out, because it’s family and all that. When I got over there, I noticed it was Linda lying on the ground, and they were doing CPR on her and she was bleeding from the chest,” a family member said, adding the wounds were consistent with a stabbing.
The source said Lafferty was a kind woman who always put her family and friends first.
“She was very nice, so friendly. She’d do anything for anybody. She was very joyful,” the family member said.
Roy Courtoreille lives next door to Lafferty’s house. He said he didn’t hear a thing until he saw police lights reflected in his windows.
“I don’t think there was a party going on because I had talked to Richard earlier on in the evening. He was coming over here for a coffee. He seemed OK. I talk to Richard quite often,” Courtoreille said.
He said the whole situation is a shock, especially for his neighborhood, which he describes as quiet.
“You don’t expect something like this, especially in this neighborhood. It’s pretty quiet here. I used to see the two of them sitting outside there having a smoke,” he said.
Deleeuw is scheduled to appear in Yellowknife Territorial Court on Thursday in relation to the charge.
Members of the RCMP’s G division major crimes unit, forensic identification services, the federal investigation unit and the office of the NWT chief coroner remain in Hay River assisting with the investigation.
– Jesse Winter