Man charged with first degree murder after Gardiner Mines death on Tuesday


Published on April 19, 2017

A man was arrested at this home on O'Brien Street in Gardiner Mines at noontime Tuesday. A woman was found dead in the home when Cape Breton Regional Police brought the man into custody.

©Sharon Montgomery-Dupe/CAPE BRETON POST

RESERVE MINES, N.S. — Richard Wayne McNeil will be in Sydney Provincial Court this morning to face a first degree murder charge in the death of Sara Beth Ann Forbes. 

McNeil, 40, was arrested at the scene of what Cape Breton Regional Police called a suspicious death after they responded to a 911 call at 87 O’Brien St. in the Gardiner Mines at noon Tuesday.

When police arrived, they located the deceased woman, a 33-year-old, inside and arrested McNeil who was also inside.

The accused and the victim are known to each other, according to police.

The regional police's major crime unit is investigating with assistance from the forensic identification unit. 

Meanwhile, a crisis intervention team is on the ground Wednesday morning at Tompkins Memorial Elementary in Reserve Mines to help students and staff cope with the death.

The woman’s child is a student at the school.

“I believe they are still in shock,” said Cathy Viva, acting director of programs and students services at the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.

“Some of them would have known this family personally. Certainly, the teachers know the student personally, so they would be dealing with a feeling of wanting to help, wanting to assist and struggling to understand what happened without knowing any details for sure, but knowing that something tragic had happened.”

More to come.