Suspicious death investigation underway in northeast Edmonton alley

Suspicious death in Edmonton’s Balwin neighbourhood
WATCH: First responders were called to Edmonton's Balwin neighbourhood Sunday evening for what initially thought to be a fire call. But as Sarah Ryan explains, police are now investigating a suspicious death.

What started as reports of a fire in a back alley turned into a suspicious death investigation in northeast Edmonton late Sunday night.

Edmonton Fire Rescue said firefighters were called just after 10 p.m. to reports of a fire in a back alley near 126 Avenue between 73 and 72 streets in the Balwin neighbourhood.

Crews arrived four minutes later but the fire was already out, according to a spokesperson, who said fire investigators were called to the scene, which was then turned over to Edmonton police.

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Homicide detectives were on scene looking around the alley, and it was confirmed that officers found the body of a man in the driveway of a property that appears to be slated for demolition.

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A neighbour told Global News their surveillance camera captured video of a vehicle driving by, leaving a body, returning later and lighting it on fire.

Several other people who live in the area said that the incident has made them feel unsafe in their homes.

“I’ve been here for 15 years,” Gloria Pickard said. “I thought this was a safe place.

“We’re just terrified. What’s going to happen next? Do I want to even go out for a walk during the evening? I’m just petrified now,” Pickard said.

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Darrell Keller said while police were in the area overnight, he didn’t hear any disturbances leading up to when they arrived. He added that the area is generally highly trafficked.

“It’s just constant around here,” Keller said. “Vehicles I’ve never seen, up and down the street here, up and down the back alley.

“It just seems to be getting worse and worse around here. There’s not much a person can do.”

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The person’s death is considered suspicious, but no other details were made available.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.