EDMONTON – Strathcona County RCMP have charged 58-year-old Brian Ralph Beglau with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, 55-year-old Melanie Susan Hunter.
RCMP said the two were married but had been living separately at the time of her death.
Police found Hunter’s body inside a home in northeast Sherwood Park late Tuesday evening. An autopsy conducted Thursday confirmed her death as a homicide.
“We’ve had two calls for service to that residence in the past,” said RCMP Supt. Gary Peck. “Details pertaining to those two occasions I won’t get into today to preserve the integrity of the investigation.”
Those two calls, he said, didn’t result in charges.
“We all feel for the loss and we’ll do all we can to make sure that our investigation is done to the best of our abilities.”
Peck said the murder was hitting the small community hard.
“We have a very safe community,” said Peck. “It’s a good community and it’s tight-knit. One-hundred thousand people live here. When these types of things happen it has an impact on everyone who’s here.”
Police initially responded to an alarm at the residence.
“We just noticed that there were a bunch of cop cars and ambulance,” said neighbour Karen Schenk on Wednesday morning. “An older person came out in a wheelchair and then they put him in the ambulance and they took him away. Then cop cars just kept coming. There were nine emergency vehicles here and we were like, ‘wow, something big has gone down.'”
“We saw them…they loaded up a body… of course it’s disturbing… and really sad for the family.”
A man was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
On Wednesday, police said the man and victim knew each other but didn’t live together. They said the public should not be concerned for their safety.
“We do believe that the victim and the male in custody were known to each other,” said Darren Anderson, with Strathcona County RCMP.
Beglau is scheduled to appear in court in Sherwood Park on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
*NOTE: This article was originally published on Sept. 23 and was updated with the victim and accused’s names and the charges on Sept. 24.