Gatineau police are releasing little information about a “major crime scene” in Aylmer.
Credits: Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
OTTAWA -- A close friend of Gatineau murder victim Anne-Catherine Powers says her marriage had deteriorated badly in the weeks leading up to Thursday's triple murder.
Gatineau cops have charged her husband, Shakti Ramsurrun, 28, in connection with the stabbing deaths of Powers and her parents, Claude Levesque, 58, and Louise Leboeuf, 63.
He faces three counts of first-degree murder, police said Friday afternoon.
Police said they were in a common-law relationship and despite continuing to live in the same house, had recently separated.
The three were found dead in their home at 64 Felix Leclerc St. in Aylmer after a 911 call to cops at about 1 p.m.
Ramsurrun was an employee at nearby Rivermead Golf Club, where he was arrested by Gatineau police shortly after the slayings. Cops said he was taken into custody without incident.
Police said there was one murder weapon, but would not identify it other than to say it was a sharp object.
Ramsurrun and Powers have a 13-month-old child, who was with Ramsurrun in a maroon minivan when he was arrested at the golf club. The child is safe, and in custody of child protective services, police said.
Virginie Lamaute, who said she was one of Powers' closest friends, said the two originally met when the family took a cruise on a ship on which Ramsurrun was working. He is a native of Mauritius.
She became pregnant, and stayed in Mauritius for a time to have the child. They also got married there, according to Lamaute.
"When she arrived (from Mauritius islands), everything was fine. We passed the New Year together and he was very cool," Lamaute said Friday morning. "Suddenly, at the beginning of the month (Anne) told me that it wasn't really going well and she was thinking about divorce and finally that happened." She described several recent incidents of abuse which caused Powers to consider calling off their relationship. However, they were still living together.
"I know it was tough for him to be here because it's such a different place and his life was so different. Now here they tried to make him understand that we live like this here," Lamaute said.
Lamaute, 20, said she had helped Ramsurrun get his job at the golf course after he arrived here from Mauritius.
The bodies were found Thursday at about 1 p.m. inside the home on the upscale residential street. Neighbours told QMI Agency that after police arrived, they saw three wrapped bodies removed from the home.
"They're good people. I can't believe this happened to them," said one neighbour, who did not want to be named.
Soon after the murders, at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, cops cordoned off a second scene at the Rivermead Golf Club -- less than two kilometres from the house -- isolating the burgundy minivan with the passenger door and the hatch open.
Inside were stuffed assorted items, including two suitcases, a red gasoline can, a stuffed animal, and other children's toys. Police cordoned off the area around the van, near the pro shop, while they investigated.
Autopsies were planned for Friday morning on all three victims to confirm the causes of death.
The investigation continues.