PEMBROKE, Ont.- The family of a man arrested in the deaths of three women in eastern Ontario has identified the suspect as 57-year-old Basil Borutski.
The suspect's brother, Will Borutski, says he and the rest of the family are shocked and in mourning for the three victims who all died Tuesday in separate incidents.
"Right now, my heart just goes out to the families ... all our brothers and sisters, our hearts go out to all the victims,'' a weary-sounding Will Borutski told The Canadian Press in an interview.
"We're all just in disbelief. Right now the only ones we're thinking about is the victims. The children, the families, the friends.''
Two of the victims used to date his brother, said Will Borutski.
With Basil Borutski about to appear in a courtroom in Pembroke, Ont., the tiny eastern Ontario hamlet of Wilno was still reeling as its members struggled to come to grips with the triple homicide that placed parts of the province on lockdown the day before.
Local residents said the shocking deaths of three women, all slain within hours of one another on Tuesday morning, has thrown the community of about 300 people into a profound state of grief.
"It's shocking to think that people that you know have come to this,'' said Corinne Higgins, owner of the Wilno Tavern located in the heart of the village 130 kilometres west of Ottawa. I'm out of words right now."
Higgins personally knew one of the three victims identified by the Ontario Provincial Police earlier in the day.
Anastasia Kuzyk, a 36-year-old Wilno resident, had worked at the tavern for a decade before leaving five years ago to pursue a real estate career, Higgins said.
Kuzyk had made a great success of that venture, Higgins said, adding that this was of no surprise to people who knew her.
"She was a really lovely lady,'' Higgins said. "She was ambitious, she was personable, she was very attentive to customers and very easy to work with as a staff member.''
Higgins added she was surprised by the arrest of Basil Borutski, who was an occasional patron of the tavern.
"He wasn't the most peaceful man, but nobody expects anything like that.''
Kuzyk's home was the first crime scene the OPP visited on Tuesday, touching off an investigation that left the town in lockdown for part of the day.
Police said information they discovered at Kuzyk's home led them to a nearby property, where they said they found the body of Natalie Warmardam, 48, of Bonnechere Valley, Ont.
Later that morning, police in Bancroft, Ont., discovered the body of 66-year-old Carol Culleton of North Gower, Ont. Police did not release the cause of death, nor indicate if the victims were known to one another.
Businesses and schools in and around Wilno were placed under lockdown as police hunted for a suspect in the slayings. The chase, which involved officers with both the Ottawa and provincial police, culminated in the arrest of Buritsky near Ottawa.
Higgins said community members are hoping for some privacy so they can mourn the victims. That process got underway Tuesday night with a gathering at the tavern where residents exchanged memories and condolences, according to local municipal councillor Carl Bromwich.
"That's how everybody gets together-- at the Wilno Tavern-- and kind of laments the troubles of the day,'' he said. "I refused to go there because I was exhausted, but I hear it was a really sad time.''