May 31, 2008 / 5:49 AM / 10 years ago

Father becomes suspect in Canadian family murders

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A husband and father, who was among five adults and children found dead in a suburban Calgary home, became a suspect on Thursday in the grisly killings that police attribute to domestic violence.

Alerted by a relative, police discovered the bodies of the man, his wife and their two young children, as well as a female tenant, on Wednesday morning. Officials would only describe the crime scene as gruesome.

The children’s one-year-old sister was found alive in the house, located in a well-tended neighborhood in the Western Canadian city’s northwest, and taken into protective custody.

Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson told CBC Television that “the events are looking towards the male in the house.”

He has called the killings a “domestic homicide,” but has so far stopped short of labeling them a murder-suicide.

Officials have not identified the dead, but several media outlets reported they were Joshua Lall, a 34-year-old intern at an architectural firm, his wife Alison Lall, 35, and daughters Kristen, 5, and Rochelle, 3. The tenant was reported to be Amber Bowerman, who worked for a college newspaper.

Speaking to reporters after the chief’s comments, Police Inspector Guy Slater said the father, described by neighbors as a friendly family man who was active in the community, was only one possible suspect.

“The chief’s comments still stand. Obviously, the preliminary indicators from yesterday’s investigation have led us down that path and we continue to pursue that as one of many possibilities,” Slater said.

Police would not give the likely cause of death, pending autopsy results, nor did they offer details of the crime scene, which left veteran officers struggling to maintain their composure.

Slater said there were signs of violence.

“It was a gruesome scene, and we continue to look after our officers in that regard,” he said.

The force has been providing counseling for some of the officers who were there.

Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson

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