NEWS
03/23/2018 08:24 EDT | Updated 03/23/2018 10:02 EDT

Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

SPRINGHILL, N.S. — A close friend of a former soldier who died along with a woman living with him in rural Nova Scotia says he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after coming back from Afghanistan "broken."

The RCMP have said the bodies of the 42-year-old man and 45-year-old woman were recovered from the home on a dead end street in Springhill following a "suspicious fire" at the residence Tuesday.

Jason Hill of North Bay, Ont., said he grew up with Marc J. Poulin and that his friend and former neighbour had told him after returning from three infantry tours in Afghanistan that he was traumatized by deaths and violence he witnessed overseas and that returned in his nightmares.

Hill said the other person who died, Jennifer Lynne Semenec, also from North Bay, had been living with Poulin for a relatively short period of time and that they had moved together to the Nova Scotia town.

Poulin's wife, Shelley Foster — who Poulin left last year — told the North Bay Nugget that Poulin "was different after he returned from duty," and that he was plagued by "illness and its demons."

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Forces said Poulin was a master corporal who served from January 1999 until he was released in February 2013, after being deployed first to Kabul and then twice to war zones in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

He served as an infantryman, a field engineer and as a combat engineer, spending most of his career with the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa, Ont.