Investigation into 'alarming' home invasion, arson and death in Campbellton continues

Police say an incident in Campbellton, N.L., ended with a woman assaulted and a home in flames with a man dead inside. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
Police say an incident in Campbellton, N.L., ended with a woman assaulted and a home in flames with a man dead inside. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

Police will remain on scene in the small central Newfoundland town of Campbellton throughout Monday, as they try to piece together a bizarre sequence of events that led to a woman being assaulted and a man's death in a burning house.

RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland said there is no risk to residents, but they can expect to see a police presence in the town, off Notre Dame Bay in central Newfoundland, for the next few days.

The sequence of events kicked off when a car left the road and crashed before 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. Soon after, a woman heard a knock on her door and went to answer it. Police say she was assaulted by a man who barged inside. She ran to a neighbour's house to get help.

As police were en route to the house, they received word it was on fire, along with a car in the driveway. Firefighters then found a man's body inside the house. Garland couldn't confirm it was the same man who forced his way inside, but said he was not a resident of the house and reiterated there is no further risk to residents. Police believe the fires were deliberately set.

Garland said there was no "outright connection" between the woman and the man, but it's something that is being investigated. Garland said the encounter must have been terrifying for the woman.

"It's definitely something that would be quite alarming, if you can imagine answering the door at that hour of the morning and that's what you answer the door to. It would certainly be scary," Garland said.

"I imagine naturally that individual would be shook up, stirred up, upset, distraught, all the emotions you imagine you'd feel if someone basically forces their way into your home, that you're assaulted and that your residence is damaged."

The province's chief medical examiner is investigating the man's cause of death.

"We're certainly anticipating the findings of the chief medical examiner to assist us with our criminal or possible criminal investigation," Garland said.

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