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Sarnia home basement apartment at the center of police investigation into resident death


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A resident of a home in Sarnia who is part of a police investigation into two deaths – one in the town and another in neighboring Enniskillen Township – says a body was found there and that “something was wrong. ‘passed’ in the basement apartment.

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Jim Bell said he saw police armed with a ram “invading” the Watson Street building on Tuesday afternoon.

A man in his forties who has lived in the apartment building for six or seven years has been arrested, Bell said, adding that he did not want to identify the man – a “trustworthy” neighbor – until police do it.

There were concerns about the man’s mental health and his drug use, but “we’ve never had a problem with him,” Bell said. He last spoke to the man on Boxing Day in his driveway, he added.

Lambton County Ontario Provincial Police officers were called Tuesday at approximately 2:30 p.m. at Crooked Road, south of Petrolia, regarding a suspicious person and found “the subject of the suspicious person complaint. with his vehicle ‘nearby on Oil Springs Line, Const. Jamie Bydeley said.

A section of Crooked Road in Enniskillen Township is permanently closed due to an impassable area, a resident said.  Police said Tuesday that a complaint about a suspicious person in the area led to an investigation into two deaths, one in Enniskillen Township and the other in Sarnia.  Photograph taken Thursday, December 30, 2021. Terry Bridge / Sarnia Observer
A section of Crooked Road in Enniskillen Township is permanently closed due to an impassable area, a resident said. Police said Tuesday that a complaint about a suspicious person in the area led to an investigation into two deaths, one in Enniskillen Township and the other in Sarnia. Photograph taken Thursday, December 30, 2021. Terry Bridge / Sarnia Observer

He said police have started investigating a six-kilometer stretch of the Oil Springs line east of the village, dotted with farms.

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Details on where and how the first body was discovered were not available, Bydeley said, but a suspect has been arrested.

The investigation led police to a second location on Watson Street in Sarnia, he said.

Investigators believe the two deaths are linked, Bydeley said.

The arrested person was charged, he said, but details of those charges and the person’s identity were not immediately released.

The identities of those who died were still being confirmed, he said.

Information on how the deaths occurred was not available, Bydeley said, but more information would be provided as the investigation unfolded.

Police, in a press release on Wednesday, said they believed there was no concern for public safety.

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One of two OPP officers parked in police cars on Thursday’s Gum Bed Line near Crooked Road – a narrow, winding dirt road lined with tall cattails in a secluded area between the Gum Bed and Aberfeldy lines – said the initial call was “low key”.

“It was from there that it spread,” he said.

Only two houses are located on Crooked Road, near the Aberfeldy Line, just south of a road permanently closed due to an impassable area.

A resident, who declined to give his name, said the investigation took place on the north side of the closure.

“I haven’t even seen any cruisers or anything around here,” she said.

The road is mainly used by young people for “mud” and by farmers in the area, she added.

One of the officers stationed near the Canada Petroleum Museum said no bodies were found there. No arrests were made there either, he said.

Bell said Watson Street in Sarnia remained closed Thursday afternoon and police would not allow vehicles to enter or exit the parking lot.

Two OPP cruisers are parked on Gum Bed Line near Crooked Road on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in Enniskillen Township as the investigation into two deaths continues.  Terry Bridge / Sarnia Observer / Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TERRY BRIDGE / Terry Bridge / The Observer
Two OPP cruisers are parked on Gum Bed Line near Crooked Road on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in Enniskillen Township as the investigation into two deaths continues. Terry Bridge / Sarnia Observer / Postmedia Network PHOTO BY TERRY BRIDGE / Terry Bridge / The Observer

“It was ‘shocking’, he said, that something like this was happening in an otherwise ‘quiet’ neighborhood.

“In this building everyone generally gets along,” he said.

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