February 21, 2016 2:38 am
Updated: February 22, 2016 2:08 pm

Police charge 22-year-old with second-degree murder in Cooper Nemeth death

WATCH ABOVE: 22-year-old Nicolas Bell-Wright has been arrested in connection with the death of 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth. Winnipeg police say it "appears someone tried to move the body," before it was found on Saturday evening in the area where Nemeth was last seen. Sean Leslie reports

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WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police have charged Nicolas Bell-Wright, 22, with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth.

Nemeth’s body was discovered in a bin on Saturday evening outside a house on Bayne Crescent, not far from the party where he was last seen in the Valley Gardens area on Feb. 13.

At a media briefing on Sunday afternoon, police said the owners of the house on Bayne Cres. heard unsual sounds outside on Saturday evening. When they investgated they saw a bin with Nemeth’s body in it. The bin did not belong to the owners.

READ MORE: Suspect in custody after Cooper Nemeth found dead

Danny Smyth, deputy chief of investigations with the Winnipeg Police Service, said they do not believe the murder took place at Bayne Crescent, but the body was moved.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, but it’s fair to say this was drug related,” Winnipeg Police Deputy Chief Danny Smyth said.

 


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Bell-Wright was arrested in the Maples area Sunday morning after Nemeth’s body was discovered. He is currently in custody.

“We were alerted to a suspicious call in the Maples area, and discovered a vehicle that was reported stolen in North Kildonan,” Smyth said. “We examined  the vehicle and found Bell-Wright in it.”

READ MORE: Timeline of Winnipeg teen Cooper Nemeth’s disappearance

Bell-Wright was questioned earlier this week by police, but released on Friday.  The 22-year-old is linked to the house on 15 Treger Bay that detectives were investigating on Friday evening.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police on scene at Treger Bay related to missing teen Cooper Nemeth: Sources

Police said Bell-Wright was once convicted with an assault charge a couple of years ago, but does not have an extensive record with the justice system.

A friend of the Nemeth family told Global News the news of Nemeth’s death was devastating.

“We are heartbroken, as you can imagine,” she said.

Nemeth’s aunt, Laresa Sayles Nemeth, said on Twitter Saturday night that the search for Nemeth was over and the family would release a statement in the coming days.

More than 100 people gathered at Gateway Community Centre to lean on each other for support. They rushed to the sports complex shortly after midnight on Sunday morning.

Counsellors from Nemeth’s school at River East Collegiate were also at the Gateway Community Club, helping people who may need extra support while they grieve.

LISTEN: Diana Posthumus, principal of River East Collegiate, talks about the tragedy and how students are coping with Nemeth’s death

On Sunday, Nemeth’s school released a statement about his death. In the weeks to come, River East Collegiate is adding more counsellors to its crisis support team for grieving students and families.

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