01/17/2012 11:30 EST | Updated 03/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Ottawa man accused of killing wife dies of cancer

An elderly Ottawa man accused of killing his wife in a nursing home over Christmas has died in hospital from cancer.

Ian Flann, 82, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Doreen Flann, also 82, whose body was found with stab wounds on Boxing Day at the Longfields Manor Retirement home at 330 Beatrice Dr. in the Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven.

Police found both Flanns injured, Doreen fatally. Ian was taken to hospital.

The couple's son Christopher released a statement following his father's death. He requested privacy for his family and spoke about his mother's Alzheimer's and father's cancer.

"Ian Flann was terminally ill with cancer throughout his body and brain," the statement read.

"No longer able to care for his wife, his high school sweetheart, and with the best intentions, the tragic events of Dec. 26, 2011, unfolded."

Couple together 65 years

Christopher Flann said his parents were together for 65 years and married for 58 years. He also said the family is in grief after losing both parents.

"The passing of my mother and father under these circumstances is heartbreaking. Despite recent events, I will always think of my parents with honour, respect and profound love," Flann said in the statement.

Bruce Flann, Ian's brother, confirmed the death to CBC News Tuesday. Ian Flann was under police guard at the Ottawa hospital's Civic campus.

He had been too ill for his last two court appearances. The murder charge will be officially withdrawn Wednesday when Flann was previously scheduled for a bail hearing.