NEWS

Teen charged with murder in Alberta caregiver's death

05/14/2012 02:30 EDT | Updated 07/14/2012 05:12 EDT

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder and theft of a vehicle in the death of a 61-year-old woman who lived at an assisted-living home in Camrose, Alta.

The teen was a resident of the Marler Supported Independent Living program where the woman's body was discovered in the basement 9 p.m. Saturday.

The facility, run by Camrose Community Connections and under contract to the province, houses four teens and is designed to teach 17 and 18-year-olds how to live on their own by making them responsible for chores such as buying their own groceries and cooking their own meals.

The youth was arrested in Vermilion, Alta., about two hours northeast of Camrose, with the victim's vehicle, said police.

The woman's identity will not be released until after an autopsy Tuesday, said Camrose police.

The youth is in custody and will appear in Camrose youth court June 7. He cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The province will review the Camrose Police investigation before deciding if it will do its own investigation, said Barrie Harrison, with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety.

"We're not going to make any assumptions," he said. "If it requires an OHS investigation that's what we'll do and we owe that to the family and friends. We're not going to lump all of these into one category and suggest that there's going to be one answer to help alleviate this from happening again, because that's likely not the case."

2nd caregiver to die in a year in Camrose

The woman's death comes just over a year after Camrose mental-health worker Valerie Wolski, 41, was found dead in the home of the man she was caring for.

Terrence Saddleback, 26, was charged with manslaughter following her death on Feb. 12, 2011, but was found unfit to stand trial.

"I'm just appalled that it happened again when we've been told and promised there was going to be changes and that Val was going to be the last one," said Wolski's sister Theresa McGregor.

Wolski, an employee with the Canadian Mental Health Association, was never told about the violent background of the man, who had mental-health problems.

Documents obtained by CBC News showed that Saddleback was considered to be a threat to anyone who cared for him.

A risk assessment warned he had a history of attacking female workers and would likely do so again.

Camrose is almost 100 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

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