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Elderly woman found dead in Calgary home, police charge husband with murder

October 04, 2016 - 3:05 PM

CALGARY - An 85-year-old Calgary man has been charged with second-degree murder after his wife was found dead early Tuesday.

Insp. Don Coleman says police got a 911 call from the victim's husband.

When officers arrived at the home, they found the body of 80-year-old Audrey van Zuiden.

Siegfried van Zuiden, also known as Fred van Zuiden, is to appear in Calgary court Wednesday.

Coleman says officers don't know what prompted the attack and there is no history of domestic violence with the couple.

Van Zuiden was originally from Holland and wrote a book on his survival of the Nazi occupation.

His book details how his family was split up in 1942 and he was shuttled between 26 hiding places — including a chicken coop and an insane asylum — to avoid capture. He immigrated to Canada in 1952 and founded a sailboat business in Calgary.

Media reports suggest van Zuiden was suffering from dementia but Coleman said he can't speculate on the man's mental health.

"If that is the case, that will come forward in the hearing process," he said. "That's not for us to determine. The elements of the offence have been met, so a charge is laid."

Family members have been notified, Coleman said.

"It's truly a tragedy for that family."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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