Calgary police have laid first-degree murder charges against a second man believed to be connected to a fatal Douglasdale house fire in February.
At approximately 5 a.m. on Feb. 18, emergency crews responded to a house fire in the 100 block of Douglas Ridge Green S.E. When the fire was extinguished, 53-year-old Chad Kowalchuk was found dead in the home.
At the time, Calgary Fire Department district chief Martin Keefe said the fire was “suspicious in nature.”
Police say Ronald Leon Abraham, 41, of Calgary was arrested last Thursday in relation to the case and charged with first-degree murder.
A 30-year-old man was arrested in the case March 24. Justin Angus Bouche has been charged with first-degree murder and arson.
“We continue to examine evidence related to the murder of Kowalchuk and believe there are a number of people who attended the residence in the days prior to the fire,” Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
“We’re asking anybody with information in the days leading up to the fire to please come forward.”
Abraham is expected to appear in court on April 22 while Bouche is expected to appear on April 28.
Kowalchuk remembered as fun, caring person
Kowalchuk is being remembered as a fun, kind and caring person who was loved by his family.
His brother Dean Kowalchuk took the podium at Thursday’s news conference to remember Chad.
He also asked the public to help bring closure to the family.
“We ask anyone who has any information with regards to his murder or events leading up to the murder to please come forward no matter how insignificant they may think it might be,” he said at Thursday’s press conference.
“Chad deserves justice and his family needs closure.”
Police believe Kowalchuk was murdered before the fire started
According to Gregson, investigators believe there was a time gap between the day that Kowalchuk was murdered and the house fire.
He also said the fire was allegedly started in an attempt to conceal evidence, but further investigation is needed.
“We believe that people attended the residence between those dates, and that’s why we’re asking people to come forward with some information,” he said.
Gregson also said the investigation is still ongoing and more people may be arrested as new evidence comes forward.
“We’re still trying to determine what the relationship between the victim and the accused was,” he said.
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