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Arrest made in MacGregor homicide

Jason Conway, 21, of MacGregor, Man., (right) is led into the provincial court house Monday in Portage la Prairie. He has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 96-year-old Niels

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Jason Conway, 21, of MacGregor, Man., (right) is led into the provincial court house Monday in Portage la Prairie. He has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 96-year-old Niels "Arne" Nielsen. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

An RCMP officer works at the scene of a suspicious death in MacGregor last Monday.

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An RCMP officer works at the scene of a suspicious death in MacGregor last Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

RCMP have made an arrest in the homicide of a 96-year-old man in MacGregor.

Jason Conway, 21, of MacGregor, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of Niels "Arne" Nielsen, who was reported dead last month.

Conway will make his first court appearance in Portage la Prairie provincial court on Monday.

There is no word on how Nielsen died.

Nielsen was found at his home around 5 p.m. on May 25. Police haven’t said how they learned of the death or what they found at the scene.

Described by neighbours as a "lovely old gentleman," Nielsen lived in a small house on the corner of Talbot Steet East, just across the back lane from the school. He would often be seen either at the laundromat or grocery store or working outside in his yard.

Longtime residents of the community, located about 130 kilometres west of Winnipeg, told the Free Press last week they knew little about the victim.

According to town councillor Herb Seaver, a friendly "hello" was the length of most conversations. Seaver said Nielsen had only moved to MacGregor in the last "six or seven" years. Locals say Nielsen may have originally been from the area of Sidney, a hamlet on the Trans-Canada Highway between Austin and Carberry.

"I know it sounds odd for a small town, but not many people knew much about him," Seaver said. "He's just an older gentleman who never bothered anybody. Something's not right. He was the kind of man who everybody thinks he's your grandpa. That's how nice he was."

However, since he only arrived in town with no known family in the area — and mostly kept to himself — details on who Nielson may have known or associated with are slim to none.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on Nielsen’s death is asked to contact the Portage la Prairie RCMP at 204-857-4445 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or text "TIPMAN" plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

History

Updated on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 12:18 AM CDT:
spelling errors corrected

Updated on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM CDT:
Image added.

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