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Fire was set to cover up Beebe murder; police issue plea for tips

An impromptu memorial sits outside a home near Sixth Street and Victoria Avenue, Tuesday afternoon. Police now state the death of Earl Daniel Beebe, found dead at the house early Saturday morning, is a murder investigation.

COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

An impromptu memorial sits outside a home near Sixth Street and Victoria Avenue, Tuesday afternoon. Police now state the death of Earl Daniel Beebe, found dead at the house early Saturday morning, is a murder investigation.

Police say someone stabbed a man to death and then set a fire to cover up the crime, and they're looking for tips to help them solve the murder.

The Brandon Police Service announced on Tuesday that Earl Daniel Beebe died from multiple stab wounds.

Beebe's body was found in his Victoria Avenue apartment early Saturday morning when firefighters were called there to deal with a small fire.

That fire is believed to have been set to cover up the killing.

"We do believe that the fire was set after the death to cover up any evidence... He did not die as a result of the fire, he was dead before the fire," BPS Const. Kirby Sararas said.

Firefighters were dispatched by 911 to the residence in the 600-block of Victoria Avenue — a house divided into apartments — around 1 a.m. on Saturday. Police also responded as a matter of procedure.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the building and put out a small fire inside the apartment, but there's no word on exactly what had burned or how the fire was set.

Beebe's body was found inside the apartment.

Shortly after, police announced that they considered Beebe's death suspicious.

However, it was only after an autopsy done in Winnipeg on Monday confirmed that Beebe's death was due to multiple stab wounds that police announced that they now considered the death a murder.

No suspects have been identified, and there’s no word of whether a weapon was found, and police have turned to the public in search of tips.

"We've spoken with numerous people that live in the area, live in the residence, and we're looking for help," Sararas said.

A person who knew Beebe said he grew up in Wabowden in northern Manitoba, but his family wasn't immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

Facebook posts described Beebe as a wonderful friend.

A small memorial, that included a photograph of Beebe, could be seen outside the apartment building on Tuesday afternoon.

Among the items was a placard printed with the words: "There is comfort and caring that never ends in the heart and the soul of special friends."

Residents of the building said 39-year-old Beebe worked at Maple Leaf and lived alone in the apartment where he'd resided for a number of years.

Don Mattice described Beebe as a friend and said he was polite. Mattice lives alone and Beebe would bring him meals occasionally.

"Awful nice guy," Mattice said of Beebe. "It's hard to believe… It's sad."

Resident Noel Moes said he and his wife were away visiting family at the time of the incident. His return home to find out a murder had been committed in his building was sad and unsettling.

"I just don't feel safe about it," Moes said.

Louis Trudel, whose suite is across the hall and down a short flight of stairs from Beebe's suite, said he heard nothing until a fire alarm sounded shortly after midnight on Saturday.

He said he went up to Beebe's apartment door to find smoke entering the hall from between the door and the door frame.

A set of keys was stuck in the door handle, and Trudel said he opened the unlocked door and called out but there was no response.

He then grabbed his jacket and boots and returned to Beebe’s door to find even more smoke.

He told another resident to call for help, then opened Beebe's door a bit and called out again with no answer. When he opened the apartment door wider, he was met with darkness and thick smoke.

Sure that Beebe was inside, Trudel thought about grabbing his flashlight but knew he couldn't enter the suite and firefighters arrived at that point.

Trudel witnessed firefighters remove Beebe's body from the building and it was evident to him that his neighbour had passed away.

No one present at the building on Tuesday could shed light on the events that led to the incident.

One building resident said Beebe was known to host parties.

Residents said Beebe, who was known to make kind gestures to his neighbours, wasn’t a problem.

However, his rowdy "sinister" guests, who would spend all night "boozing," were.

The guests would seem to try to pick fights with Beebe who didn't seem to care about the sort of people he'd allow in his apartment.

Trudel described how Beebe threw out a guest on one occasion. Trudel said he'd kicked Beebe's friends out of the building in the early morning a number of times.

Despite that, Trudel said he'd never known Beebe to be in a fight and he got along with other building residents.

"I've never seen anyone having problems with him here," Trudel said.

This marks Brandon’s fourth homicide of the year.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

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Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 1 Commentscomment icon

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Please someone come forward my cousin didn't deserve to go like this he was the greatest person with the biggest heart and our family needs closure and justice for Earl Daniel Beebe, to whoever committed this crime your a coward who was able to murder my cousin so don't be such a coward and accept responsibility for the hurt you've caused our family because "The Beebe Family" won't let this rest until your caught!
Anyone with any information please come forward because if you knew my cousin Earl you know he'd come forward for u and also know he deserved better than this so be the hero who brings his murderer(s) to justice, please I'm begging you!!!

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