Tragedy ‘totally unexpected’: lawyer

Dead couple estranged, in middle of custody dispute

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They're a broken family who suffered three deaths in four days.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/05/2012 (3866 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

They’re a broken family who suffered three deaths in four days.

Minutes after the body of 35-year-old Samantha Pourchamani turned up in the garage of her Island Lakes home Tuesday evening, her estranged husband Siyavash Pourchamani, 49, drove into the path of an oncoming semi-trailer and died.

Samantha had been grieving the death of her mother, who had passed away April 28.

Facebook Samantha Pourchamani (left) and Siyavash Pourchamani. Samantha, 35, was found dead in her Island Shore Boulevard home on May 1, 2012. Siyavash, 49, was killed in a highway crash less than an hour later.

The couple had a 14-year-old daughter. Samantha’s 20-year-old son from a previous relationship had also been living in the Island Lakes home.

Winnipeg police released the woman’s identity Wednesday but wouldn’t identify the man killed in the crash, saying only he was a “person of interest” in the homicide investigation.

The Free Press tracked his identity through court and property records.

Const. Jason Michalyshen refused to say if the case was a murder-suicide.

“We still have to do our due diligence,” he said.

“No question, (it’s) an incredibly tragic incident and very, very traumatic for everyone directly involved,” Michalyshen said.

Police, who are handling the homicide probe, said the two events were related to a domestic dispute.

The RCMP is handling the investigation into the crash on Highway 205, which happened at about 6 p.m., three kilometres east of Rosenort.

“Witnesses at the scene reported that this vehicle went across the centre line into oncoming traffic,” RCMP Cpl. Miles Hiebert said, adding the accounts were confirmed by initial reports from RCMP traffic collision analysts.

Hiebert said RCMP continue to probe whether the crash was a suicide.

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

Hiebert also said the RCMP could not identify the man killed in the crash, pending notification of family.

On Tuesday evening, emergency officials went to the family’s home on the 500 block of Island Shore Boulevard and found Samantha’s body. Police said she had suffered throat lacerations.

According to court records, the couple was married in October 1998, and a petition to divorce was filed in 2005.

Records indicate both were still the owners of the Island Lakes home.

In April 2005, a judge awarded joint custody of the daughter to Samantha and issued an order that the couple was not to live together.

The couple was in the process of finalizing the sale of their home and child support.

According to a post made on Samantha’s Facebook profile, her mother died April 28 and the funeral was scheduled for Monday. “On April 28th a beautiful mother, grandmother, and friend was taken from us. She always wore a silly smile and welcomed everyone into her heart,” stated the post on a Facebook page dedicated to the memory of Pourchamani’s mother, Nancy McNamara.

Allan Dueck, Siyavash’s lawyer, said he was shocked by the tragedy.

Dueck said Siyavash had accepted his marriage was over and was determined to get sole custody of his daughter. A process server arrived at the Island Boulevard home Tuesday, only to be turned away by police.

phil hossack / winnipeg free press A young woman is put into a squad car as police investigate a suspicious death in the 500 block of Island Shore Boulevard.

There was no indication of impending trouble, Dueck said.

“This was totally unexpected,” he said. “I didn’t see it coming. There was no reason for it.”

Dueck said the couple had an on-again, off-again relationship, having separated for the third time in September.

Samantha had a boyfriend, Dueck said, but added Siyavash knew of the relationship and was not troubled by it.

At the home Tuesday, three people were escorted into separate police cruisers, including a distraught middle-aged woman and a younger woman.

But it was a different scene Wednesday. An officer answered the door of the well-kept home, and a single cruiser sat outside the front of the property.

One neighbour — who did not want her name used — said she believed there were still people living in the home, and they had regular visitors.

A neighbour said after emergency officials arrived at the home — seven police cruisers rushed to the scene — she saw a young man looking “upset” on the driveway and talking with police.

Another resident said there was a teenaged girl who also belonged to the family.

She said the home had been a daycare for a period of time, but that recently people seemed to be living there again and a vehicle was often 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.”

Another neighbour who saw the body in the garage said he was reeling.

He said he’d noticed there’d been a high amount 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.

Samantha Pourchamani’s death marked the 14th homicide in the city this year.

 

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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