03/02/2016 04:48 EST | Updated 03/02/2016 04:59 EST

Alberta Murders Double In Rural Areas In 2015

Flickr: dave_7

EDMONTON — There was a spike in murders in rural Alberta last year.

Mounties say there were 65 homicides within its 112 Alberta detachment jurisdictions in 2015, compared to 36 the year before.

They say it is also much higher than the 10-year average of 40 murders.

RCMP say they haven't found a reason for the increase.

Police say all but 20 of the homicide cases have been concluded and seven suspects from these cases committed suicide before charges were laid.

So far this year, six homicides have been reported in rural Alberta.

"Homicide cases take real commitment on the part of the employees involved,'' chief Supt. Gary Steinke, officer-in-charge of the Alberta RCMP serious crimes branch, said in a news release Wednesday.

"Last year, that saw them working longer hours, often away from home, under the saddest of circumstances, just to keep up.

"Sheer determination to see justice done for the victims was what kept folks going, and this is reflected in the high solve rate they achieved.''

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