Three months after his body was found, many questions remain surrounding the death of a man who was stabbed multiple times in his city apartment where it’s believed a fire was then set to cover up the crime.
But — while any allegations haven’t been proven in court — police hope that an arrest made in connection with the case will bring an end to some uncertainty and provide some comfort to Earl Daniel Beebe’s family and the public.
"In any of these situations it feels good to be able to make an arrest," said Brandon Police Service Sgt. Earl McNutt, who is the lead investigator on the case.
City police released some small additional details of the case last week, but have withheld others citing the need to protect the prosecution.
The investigation began on Dec. 28 when firefighters were called to a small kitchen fire at Beebe’s apartment at 636 Victoria Ave.
The fire was put out and Beebe was found lying unresponsive on a mattress with multiple stab wounds to his upper torso and face. He was declared dead shortly after being sent to hospital.
Investigators believe the fire may have been set to cover up the crime. Brandon Police Service Sgt. Mike Pelechaty said it’s believed that the fire started in the area of the stove. A number of items that don’t normally belong on a stove were found there, but Pelechaty said the exact circumstances are still being investigated.
Police seized a number of unspecified "edged instruments" from the apartment, but there’s no word on whether the weapon or weapons used to stab Beebe were identified.
At this point, police haven’t revealed how they managed to identify a suspect. McNutt said a man had been on police "radar" for a while but it was only in the few days leading up to the arrest that enough pieces of the investigation came together to lay a charge.
Police say they’re not aware of any connection between the man and Beebe prior to the night of Beebe’s death. It appears they met that evening and went to Beebe’s apartment together.
There’s no indication yet of possible motive.
BPS officers arrested the man at the Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation Dakota Ojibway Police Service station on Wednesday afternoon, on the basis of an outstanding arrest warrant for unrelated charges. The arrest warrant was issued on Nov. 13.
He was transported to the Brandon police station and, while in custody, subsequently arrested for second-degree murder in relation to Beebe’s death.
Police say the investigation continues and further charges may be pending, but McNutt said police aren’t looking for any further suspects.
David Andrew Paul, 23, of Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation is charged with second-degree murder.
The allegations against him haven’t been proven in court.
On Thursday, Paul’s appearance in Brandon court was waived and he remains in custody as he awaits a court appearance on Monday.
Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta put in place an order that the accused not have contact with three people who are considered potential witnesses in the case, although police say they weren’t involved in the crime. They weren’t present at the time of the incident at the Victoria Ave. apartment.
A relative of Beebe’s who was identified as a possible family spokesperson wasn’t available on Friday for comment.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen