Murdered Ottawa couple may have been dead 2 weeks before being discovered
Published Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:55PM EST Last Updated Wednesday, November 30, 2016 6:30PM EST
An Ottawa couple may have been dead for at least two weeks before their bodies were discovered at their home in the west end of the city.
Their 22-year-old son appeared in court today to face two counts of first degree murder.
Police discovered the bodies of 69-year-old Dave Rogers and his 63-year-old wife Merrill Monday night at their home at 1614 Apeldoorn Avenue.
The lawyer for Cameron Rogers says he may pursue a “not criminally responsible” defence. Christian Deslauriers says his client has no criminal record but he does have a history of mental health issues and has autism and those factors will likely play a role in the case before the courts.
“My client was a bit shocked when I met with him at the police station,” Deslauriers told reporters outside the Ottawa courthouse today, moments after his client Cameron Rogers appeared in court by video.
It is a shocking case on so many levels: a loving couple who doted on their adopted son, a young man who police believe killed his parents and the discovery of their bodies, possibly more than two weeks after they were murdered, according to Deslauriers.
“It’s difficult to say what my defence will be,” Deslauriers said, “but one thing is for sure; my client is having mental health issues, so being autistic we are looking into an NCR defence, which is “not criminally responsible” for mental health issues.”
Rogers is facing two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of his parents, Dave and Merrill Rogers. Dave was well-known in Ottawa; a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen for years before he retired in 2010. Citizen colleague Tony Coté, and fellow retiree says they met frequently for coffee but Dave spoke little about his or Cameron's personal life.
“I knew there were some issues with the boy,” Coté said in a phone interview from his home in Almonte, “I thought they were mostly physical. Dave really did a lot of stuff for him. They were always, always going camping, going down to the States. They did a lot together.”
The bodies were discovered Monday night by Ottawa police but Deslauriers believes they were possibly murdered at least two weeks prior to that. As for why they were murdered, that information is still to come.
Detective Chris Benson is with Ottawa Police Major Crime, “It's a sad case unfortunately again,” he said outside court, “It's a case where a family has been destroyed and we are looking into all aspects as to why this may have happened.”
“I have no reason why it happened,” adds Deslauriers, “I have no motive but I can't wait to read the police reports to find out what they think.”
Cameron Rogers will be back in court December 9. His lawyer plans to spend the next week looking through evidence before deciding how to launch a defence.