A 31-year-old Edmonton man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of an elderly couple at their High Park home in north Edmonton on Friday.
On Saturday afternoon, police said Edward Kyle Roberts is accused of breaking into a nearby home and stealing a knife they allege was used to kill 93-year-old Joao Nascimento and 81-year-old Maria Nascimento. Police allege Roberts broke into the Nascimentos’ home before they were killed sometime Friday morning.
“We believe that Mr. and Mrs. Nascimento, an elderly couple, were just sitting in their home peacefully when Mr. Roberts arrived at the door and forced his way in,” Scott Pattison, a spokesperson with the Edmonton Police Service, told reporters late Saturday afternoon. “It’s just tragic that something like this would happen to them in their later years.”
Edmonton police said officers were called to a “suspicious persons call” at a home in the area of 111 Avenue and 111 Street shortly after noon on Friday where two people were found dead.
Pedro Avalos, a nearby neighbour, said his home was broken into sometime Friday.
“Good thing nobody was home at the time. That could’ve been me, my little daughter, any one of us – my roommate,” he said. “We were really, really lucky.”
Avalos said the intruder brought a machete, an axe and a hatchet inside his house. He said the person left the machete beside some cash on the kitchen table but didn’t take it. He said all that was missing was a steak knife and another hatchet.
“I’m not too sure if the same person that broke into my house is the same as whoever did the crime down the street – but the cops were at my house – fingerprinting my whole place,” he explained.
At a press conference late Saturday afternoon, police confirmed they believe Roberts broke into Avalos’ home.
Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation and on Friday, a police spokesperson said a male suspect, who “appears intoxicated,” was taken into custody.
“It’s obviously a very disturbing scene for (police) members,” Pattison said Friday. “…(it) appears to be, unsuspecting people.”
He later added police believe the suspect and victims were not known to one another.
“There is no risk to the surrounding community believed at this time,” Pattison said.
Neighbours said the Nascimentos have lived in the home for around three decades and do not have any children. Police said the couple had been married for 40 years.
“I was in shock. It could happen to me. Easy,” Manuel Rodrigues, a friend of the couple who died, said. “It’s messy – you can’t trust anymore.”
An official cause of death has yet to be confirmed but police said autopsies are scheduled to be performed Tuesday.
Roberts is also charged with two counts of break and enter, possession of a weapon and breach of recognizance.
-with files from Caley Ramsay and Shallima Maharaj.