Man charged with 1st-degree murder in death of Cape Breton woman

Gardiner Mines man not criminally responsible for common-law wife's death

A 40-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after 33-year-old SaraBeth Ann Forbes was found dead at a home in Cape Breton.

Cape Breton Regional Police were called to the scene in Gardiner Mines, just outside of Glace Bay, around noon yesterday.

Forbes was found dead inside a home. Police arrested Richard Wayne MacNeil, 40, of Gardiner Mines at the scene and have charged him with murder. He is scheduled to appear in Sydney provincial court today.

Police believe Forbes and MacNeil knew each other.

'Still in shock'

Forbes was a teacher's assistant at Tompkins Memorial Elementary in nearby Reserve Mines. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board confirmed Forbes's son is a student at the same school.

A crisis intervention team will be at the school to help students cope with the death, offering both one-on-one and group counseling.

"I believe they're still in shock," said Cathy Viva, the acting director of programs and student services for the school board.

"Some of them would have known this family personally. Certainly the teachers know the student personally so they would be dealing with a feeling of wanting to help, wanting to assist, struggling to understand what happened."

Viva said grief counsellors will remain at the school for as long as they're needed.