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OTTAWA: Yassin Mender kills wife, then hangs himself

Police confirm Beaconwood was murder-suicide, release victim’s identity

Published on: Last Updated: 

The Ottawa police Major Crime Section confirmed Saturday night that the deaths in Beaconwood Village on Thursday morning that left three children without parents were a murder-suicide.

Police identified Alem Haile, 51, as the victim of Ottawa’s seventh homicide of 2014.

The body of Yassin Mender, 60, the husband of the victim, was also found at the scene, but foul play was not suspected in his death.

Police and paramedics were called to a townhouse at 2022 Beaconwood Dr. in a Minto-run rental neighbourhood Thursday around 6:30 a.m. after 16-year-old Ben Mender discovered his parents’ bodies in the family home. His mother had been stabbed to death and the person responsible, his father, was found hanging.

Ben was in his bedroom when his father, Yassin, began the attack against his youngest son. The teen, after a struggle in which he was cut, managed to lock his father out of his room. He remained in his room for about an hour only to emerge to find the body of his mother in the basement. She had been stabbed in the back several times. Yassin Mender had hanged himself while his son was locked away in his bedroom.

The couple have two other children — daughter Tesnella Mender, who neighbours say wasn’t living at the home but visited frequently, and son Saeyob Mender, who studied at Carleton University and was an avid runner.

With files from Shaamini Yogaretnam and Meghan Hurley

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Ottawa cops suspect murder-suicide in couple’s deaths

An Ottawa police officer guards the cordoned off crime scene area outside the rowhouse where a man...

An Ottawa police officer guards the cordoned off crime scene area outside the rowhouse where a man and woman’s bodies were found Thursday morning on Beaconwood Cres. in east Ottawa. (DOUG HEMPSTEAD/QMI Agency)

DOUG HEMPSTEAD, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

OTTAWA — Police believe a man killed his wife in their east-end townhouse early Thursday morning, knifed his teenage son — and then hung himself.

That’s how the troubling call came in — the son called 911 around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. It was the son who, after the attack, found his mother’s body in the basement of a Beaconwood Dr. townhouse in Gloucester and his father’s body in the stairwell.

The son was treated by paramedics for a cut.

Police haven’t officially said how the woman died, but confirm they are treating the case as suspicious — an apparent murder-suicide.

Sources say it appears the woman was stabbed. Firefighters tried in vain to revive them both.

Sources said the son locked himself in a room after the attack and only came out after the house was quiet.

Court records indicate the home is registered to Yassin Mender, 60. He doesn’t have a criminal record.

Police won’t release the name of the man or woman because they say autopsies are pending and not all family members have been notified.

Family members’ Facebook profiles were all taken down by early afternoon.

Police say victim services is working with the children, of which there are believed to be three — two boys and a girl.

Beaconwood is an area of rowhouses and townhomes in east Ottawa. Neighbours there told QMI Agency the community is normally safe and quiet — some even say they were subjected to police background checks before they were allowed to sign a lease.

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