RCMP: ‘It was a homicide’

Leader staff

Several days after a body was found at the site of a wildfire near Widewater, police passed on the first bit of information from the investigation.

In short, the death of Darren Dawson, 30, was not an accident.

“An autopsy was completed on Tuesday June 4, 2019 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Edmonton,” said the June 6 release from Cpl. Ronald Bumbry, “and the cause of death of Darren Dawson was deemed a homicide. No further information is available at this time as the investigation is ongoing.”

Firefighters responded to a call in the middle of the night May 30 during a time of high tension due to the McMillan Complex fires having moved a lot closer to communities over the previous 24 hours. Firefighting resources from various municipalities had poured in to support the regional service, so there was lots of fire (or water) power available to respond.

“We had 12 trucks out there,” says fire chief Jamie Coutts. “We hit it with everything we had.”

The last thing the firefighters expected was to stumble on a dead body, but that’s what they found.

The fire and the body were located south of Widewater, past an old gravel pit.

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate and are asking for anyone who may have information on this homicide to contact the Slave Lake RCMP at (780) 849-3045 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the ‘P3 Tips’ app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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