04/25/2014 09:40 EDT | Updated 06/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Harley Lawrence Death: Arrests Made After Homeless Man Found In Burning Bus Shelter

HALIFAX - The RCMP say they have made two arrests in the death of a homeless man last year whose body was found in a burning bus shelter in rural Nova Scotia.

Sgt. Alain LeBlanc said Friday no charges have been laid but two people were arrested overnight and are being interviewed by police.

Harley Lawrence died on Oct. 23 in Berwick in the province's Annapolis Valley.

Police have released few details about the death of the 62-year-old man, except that it is considered suspicious. They have also not released the findings of an autopsy.

Police say they arrested one person at about midnight in Berwick and a second individual at about 1:20 a.m. in the Sackville area in Halifax.

A woman who was delivering newspapers early on the morning Lawrence's body was found has said she saw flames rising from inside the shelter and initially thought it was a pile of leaves.

Shannon Taylor said firefighters arrived soon after and put out the blaze, but weren't able to save the man.

She said about 10 minutes before the blaze, she saw two young men, possibly in their late teens or early 20s, fill a small jug at a gas station and head in the direction of the shelter. She said it looked like one used for windshield washer fluid.

Maynard Lawrence attends a news conference about the life of his brother, Harley Lawrence, at the Open Arms drop-in centre in Kentville, N.S. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Lawrence, living on the streets, died in a fire at a bus shelter in the rural community of Berwick, N.S. in October. Police have deemed the death suspicious. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Police have refused to comment on the claims.

People in the community said Lawrence began using the shelter for refuge as temperatures dipped last fall.

Ronald Lawrence has said his brother had a mental health problem that wasn't diagnosed, but it seemed to surface when he was about 25.

He said the family tried repeatedly to help him but he often pushed them away and moved on to another community.

Lawrence said he was told about the arrests at about 1:45 a.m. and was grateful to be among the first informed by the police.

He said many questions, including his brother's cause of death, remain unanswered and might only emerge as the legal process unfolds.

"It's part of the healing process to get conclusions and to get to the bottom of what happened to him," he said.

"It will give some closure when all is said and done, but there is a lot of unanswered questions from the RCMP just yet."

Lawrence said he accepts the time it is taking police to conduct their investigation.

"They're doing it by the book," he said.

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