An Ontario Provincial Police cruiser blocks the scene of what police are investigating as a triple murder-suicide about 300 kilometres north of Toronto, in Ryerson Township, Ont., on Sunday, February 25, 2018. Police in a small central Ontario community say they’re investigating the deaths of four people as a triple murder-suicide. Ontario Provincial Police say they believe a man killed two women and another man before killing himself in Ryerson Township, Ont., about 300 kilometres north of Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Salmaan Farooqui

Police investigate triple murder-suicide north of Toronto

Ontario police are investigating a triple murder-suicide about 300 kilometres north of Toronto, in Ryerson Township, Ont.

A man killed three members of the same family — two women and one man — at their central Ontario home before taking his own life, police said Sunday.

Ontario Provincial Police said the incident, which is being investigated as a triple murder-suicide, took place in Ryerson Township, Ont., a rural community about 300 kilometres north of Toronto.

OPP Det. Insp. Martin Graham said a friend had stopped by the home for a prearranged visit Friday night around 7:30 p.m. and “came across this tragic scene” and called 911 immediately.

“The fourth deceased in the residence is not related by blood to the three victims of the homicide, but is also a resident of Ryerson Township,” Graham said.

He added that the three family members all lived in the house where they were found dead.

On Sunday, police had blocked off access to the home as they continued their investigation.

The home sits at the end of a rural road in the isolated community of just under 650 people.

Graham, who’s leading the investigation, said police found guns at the home, but wouldn’t say whether any of the victims were shot, only that all four had signs of trauma.

He said he wasn’t sure when the killings occurred.

“We’re trying to narrow down the time that this incident took place,” Graham said. “We know it took place sometime between Wednesday evening and up to 7:30 p.m. on Friday.”

Police have not released the names of the dead. Graham said police won’t be commenting on any potential cause of death until a post-mortem is complete, which might happen later this week.

The township’s deputy reeve, Barbara Marlow, said she hadn’t heard of a tragedy of this scale happening in the area during the 45 years she’s lived there.

“It’s just a small community, so everybody is quite shocked,” she said.

Cathy Still, the mayor of the nearby village of Burk’s Falls, Ont., where Ryerson’s population does its socializing, said she too was surprised by the deaths.

“This is really strange. We’ve only had maybe four incidents in the last 60 years of anything involving shootings or guns, or anything like that.”

Outside a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Burk’s Falls, Ahren Simmons spoke about the tragedy.

“It’s a very low crime area, it’s frightening,” Simmons said.

“Stuff does happen, but not often at all.”

The last major incident he could remember was two years ago, when a woman was killed during a robbery.

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

Related: Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni long-term care home gets new bath chair

Westhaven residents say thanks to WCGH Foundation for donation

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing 43-year-old man

Maxime Ouellet is known to camp in wooded areas around Port Alberni

LOOK BACK: A journey of time in Port Alberni

Take a peek at Port Alberni’s history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: I was raised a reader, and I’m passing it on

Alberni Valley News’ editor shares memories of reading to her niece

ALBERNI GOLF: Nielson leads the way in men’s golf

Sunday, Sept. 27 will be an 18-hole two-man alternate shot event

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Three years for serial bank robber who hit southern Vancouver Island branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read