Winnipeg's latest homicide victim maintained a visible online presence -- including a profile on a dating website -- which is now forming part of the ongoing investigation.
Sources tell the Free Press all aspects of the victim's life are being studied to determine who may have wanted him dead.
Arthur Haussermann, 53, was found inside his burning downtown apartment suite last Saturday morning. Officials initially believed it was the fire that killed him, but an autopsy revealed he'd actually suffered upper body injuries prior to the blaze in the 100 block of Hargrave Street at Holiday Tower.
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.
"Although rare, killers do occasionally use arson to destroy evidence at a crime scene. An intense fire can destroy fingerprints, DNA and other evidence that might be used to convict a suspect," retired Winnipeg police homicide Det.-Sgt. James Jewell said Tuesday in a blog entry he wrote about the case at www.thepoliceinsider.com.
No arrests have been made, and police are now tracing Haussermann's recent steps. Several of his family members did not return messages seeking comment on Tuesday.
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 three of those cases.
Sources say homicide investigators will want 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.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect is asked to call police at (204) 986-6508 or CrimeStoppers at (204) 786-TIPS (8477).