NEWS

Friends stunned by Brampton murder allegations

12/29/2011 09:24 EST | Updated 02/28/2012 05:12 EST

People who knew three Brampton, Ont., roommates involved in an alleged homicide say they feel bad for the two accused as well as the victim.

York Regional Police continue to search for James Martineau, 29, on an arrest warrant for murder in connection with the death of 73-year-old Ivan Newton Davison.

Martineau, his mother Wendy Martineau, and Davison had lived together in a Brampton apartment, according to police.

Davison's body was found in a ditch near Caledon, Ont., on Boxing Day. A post-mortem examination determined that blunt-force trauma was the cause of death.

Wendy Martineau, 48, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. She appeared in a Newmarket court on Thursday.

Friends say the death and the allegations are tragic.

"I'm very, very upset about Ivan. He was a wonderful man. He had so many good qualities," Daniel Cullen told CBC News on Thursday.

"James, believe it or not, is a good man as well," he added. "James had a lot of stuff in his life but he was a very good man, and his mother is also an amazing person."

Cullen said the Martineaus were not related to Davison, but a lack of affordable housing in Brampton forced them to live together.

"If we had our proper share of funding, people wouldn't have to share apartments … and these types of situations wouldn't come up," he said.

'There were never any problems'

All three roommates were regulars at a hot-breakfast program at a local church. People who use the program said Wendy Martineau was there for breakfast on Wednesday, before she was arrested.

Friend Walwan Gidge said it's hard to imagine the trio's situation turning violent.

"There were never any problems," he said.

"I mean, they had their arguments every once in a while, but they lived together…. It's a shame. Everybody's gonna miss him. And everybody feels sorry now for Wendy and James."

Still, those who knew James said he had trouble in the past, including getting stabbed in a fight outside the church and spending time in jail.

James Martineau is described as a white male, five feet 10 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, with brown eyes and short brown hair.

He has a tattoo of a hatchet man on the right side of his neck and a tattoo of the word 'Chayce' in script on the left side.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact police but not approach him, police said.

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