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Murder charge laid in death of man whose body was found after 2020 fire in Edmonton

A suspicious death investigation in an alley near 127 Avenue between 73 and 72 streets in Edmonton's Balwin neighbourhood on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News

A second-degree murder charge has been laid in connection with the death of a man who was found dead after a northeast Edmonton fire early last year.

What started as reports of a fire in a back alley turned into a suspicious death investigation when Edmonton police were called by firefighters at around 10 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2020.

Read more: Suspicious death investigation underway in northeast Edmonton alley

Homicide detectives were called to the alley and found the body of a man in the driveway of a property that was slated for demolition.

That man was later identified as 24-year-old Aaron Watt.

An autopsy was conducted two days after the fire, but the cause of death was not released for “investigative reasons.” In a news release on Wednesday, police said the cause of death will continue to be withheld.

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Click to play video: 'Suspicious death in Edmonton’s Balwin neighbourhood' Suspicious death in Edmonton’s Balwin neighbourhood
Suspicious death in Edmonton’s Balwin neighbourhood – Jan 27, 2020

However, they said it was determined that the manner of death was homicide.

On Dec. 14, Colin James Lepretre, 29, was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and indignity to a body.

Police didn’t release any further details.

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