Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Arrest made in city's 14th homicide

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Officials initially believed a fire killed Arthur Haussermann in this downtown apartment block, but an autopsy revealed he had suffered upper body injuries prior to the blaze.


Officials initially believed a fire killed Arthur Haussermann in this downtown apartment block, but an autopsy revealed he had suffered upper body injuries prior to the blaze. Photo Store

Winnipeg police have made a quick arrest in the city’s latest homicide.

Clarissa Dawn Ponace, 29, is facing a second-degree murder charge following the weekend killing of 53-year-old Arthur Haussermann in a downtown apartment.

Haussermann was found inside his burning suite last Saturday morning. Officials initially believed it was the fire that killed him, but an autopsy revealed he had actually suffered upper body injuries prior to the blaze in a suite at the Holiday Tower apartment block on the 100 block of Hargrave Street.

The fire may have been an attempt to cover up evidence at the scene, sources say. It was contained within the suite and caused about $10,000 damage. Haussermann was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but could not be saved.

Police said Wednesday the victim and accused would have been "brief acquaintances" within the evening of his death. No other details have been provided.

As the Free Press reported earlier today, Haussermann maintained a visible online presence — including a profile on a dating website — which formed part of the ongoing investigation.

Sources told the Free Press all aspects of the victim’s life were being studied to determine who may have wanted him dead. Several of his family members did not return messages seeking comment.

Haussermann was a member of the Badoo online dating site in which he was seeking women aged 40 to 55 for a relationship. He listed himself as a university-educated single man who was an "empty nester" who smoked and drank socially. His profile included four pictures, his current location in Winnipeg and a list of 17 interests including music, travel, beach walks, computers and books.

Haussermann is Winnipeg’s 14th homicide victim of the year. Arrests have been made in all but two of those cases.

Sources said homicide investigators were looking to speak with people who may have recently interacted with Haussermann. Winnipeg police have previously issued public warnings about the dangers of meeting people online, which has become an increasingly popular way to form relationships.


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