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Police link homicide, highway death

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Winnipeg police say there is a link between the homicide of a woman Tuesday at her Island Shore Boulevard home and the death of a  man, 49, shortly after in a head-on collision on the highway.

Police are treating the two deaths as a domestic-related matter.

Police identified the dead woman as Samantha Pourchamani, 35. Police were called to the home where they found her body about 5:40 p.m.

Records indicate the owners of the home where the homicide happened are Siyavash Pourchamani and Samantha Pourchamani.

Police have not confirmed how the woman died, but reports suggested she had throat lacerations.

She was pronounced dead at the scene, said police, after she was found by family members.

"No question, (it’s) an incredibly tragic incident and very, very traumatic for everyone directly involved," said Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jason Michalyshen, Winnipeg Police Service spokesman.

The 49-year-old man died about 6 p.m., when his car collided head-on with a semi-tractor on Highway 205, about three kilometres east of Rosenort.

Michalyshen said the car's driver was a "person of interest" in the homicide investigation, but police were still investigating.  Neither police nor RCMP have officially identified the man, but a source confirmed it was Siyavash Pourchamani.

Police are still looking at whether the fatal vehicle crash was a suicide.

"We don’t know the intent of the individual who was involved in the motor vehicle collision," said Michalyshen, who said it would be "speculating" to identify it that way.

RCMP Cpl. Miles Hiebert said witnesses reported the car crossed the two-lane highway's centre line before it struck a semi-tractor, a description supported by initial reports by RCMP traffic-collision analysts.

However, Hiebert did not call the death a suicide.

"We may never know because the only person in the vehicle is deceased now," he said.

Couple married in 1998, split in 2005

According to court records, Siyavash and Samantha Pourchamani were married in October 1998.

A petition to divorce was filed in 2005.  In April of that year, a judge awarded joint custody of any children.  The couple were still finalizing the sale of the home and child support.

An officer answered the door of the well-kept home Wednesday morning, and a single cruiser sat outside the front of the property.

Neighbours believe the couple had two children: a son who’s about 20 years old and a daughter in her teens.

One neighbour said he could see a body in the garage of the home Tuesday, before police and other emergency officials arrived.

He said he’d noticed a large volume of traffic in the home for the last couple of weeks.

"As it’s sinking in more and more, it’s more traumatic," he said.

One neighbour – who did not want her name used – said she believed someone was still living in the home, and people regularly came to visit.

A neighbour said after emergency officials were hailed to the home – sending seven police cruisers there – she saw a young man looking "upset" on the driveway and talking with police.

She said the home had been the site for a daycare for a period of time, but recently neighbours believed the home was being used as a residence again and a vehicle was regularly parked outside.

"Honestly, I’m shocked and I feel sick," she said. "Police cars never come here."

She said after the body was found people who knew the victim were at the home "crying."

The death is the 14th homicide in the city this year.

video player to use on WFP

Updated on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:12 PM CDT: Up[dates with more info, reaction from neighour

12:55 PM: adds video

1:09 PM: updates with more detailed info, quotes from police, quotes from neighbours

1:24 PM: Adds RCMP assessment of crash.

2:20 PM: Tweaks subhead

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