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Murder charge laid after body of pregnant woman found in Saskatoon house fire

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WATCH ABOVE: For months, the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) has been collecting evidence in order to charge Jonathan Rosenthal in the death of Crystal McFadyen – Nov 14, 2018

CORRECTION: This story has been changed to state Jonathan Rosenthal is the correct spelling of the accused’s name.

An arson charge against a Saskatoon man has now been upgraded to second-degree murder and an indignity to human remains.

For months, the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) has been collecting evidence in order to charge Jonathan Rosenthal in the death of Crystal McFadyen.

READ MORE: Man facing arson charge after pregnant woman found dead at fire granted bail

The 39-year-old has always been a person of interest in the case and on Wednesday, the major crime section felt it had enough to bring Rosenthal in.

“The suspect was arrested shortly before 9 a.m. this morning and taken into police custody,” said Kelsie Fraser, senior public affairs specialist with SPS.

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“He was charged with arson on July 9 following the fire where the woman’s body was discovered and today, he’s been charged with second-degree murder.”

It was firefighters who discovered the 37-year-old’s body inside a home at 229 Ave. F North on July 6.

On July 10, it was revealed following an autopsy that McFadyen was eight months pregnant and her death was being ruled a homicide.

“We were expecting that potentially these charges could come at some point. We’ve been waiting for some time for the autopsy report,” Rosenthal’s lawyer Chris Lavier said.

“I suspect that that autopsy report is now ready and there’s something in that that leads to police to provide some basis for these charges.”

READ MORE: Coroner concludes eight month pregnant woman was killed in Saskatoon

In accordance with Canadian law, a person cannot be charged with murder in relation to an unborn baby but it can certainly be an aggravating factor, if and when a case goes to trial.

“We haven’t received any information on the specifics of these charges as of yet and we don’t know what aggravating factors there are,” Lavier added.

According to the criminal defence lawyer, all indications would suggest that his client at one point had been in a relationship with the deceased.

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“On his next court appearance, we plan on adjourning his matters three weeks to a month and then working the Crown to schedule a bail hearing,” Lavier said.

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