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UPDATE: Name of suspect released in Cherry Avenue homicide; residents react

435 Cherry Avenue
December 31, 2014 - 3:15 PM

KAMLOOPS - Police have now filed murder charges against a resident of the 435 Cherry Avenue apartment building after police discovered the body of a 26-year-old woman Tuesday afternoon.

Christopher Frank Butler, 41, was charged with second-degree murder around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The victim was Deanne Genevieve Wheeler, 26, according to police. 

Const. Jason Epp, spokesperson Kamloops RCMP, said investigators are not commenting on the relationship between Butler and Wheeler at this time. Police earlier said the victim and suspect knew each other.

Police haven't said if the death was in relation to a 2 p.m. call concerning a stabbing incident in the apartment building.

"The exact cause of death has yet to be determined and the investigation to gather further evidence is ongoing," Epp said.

A resident said the police presence lasted until 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Butler, who was on probation for an assault charge, was taken into custody shortly after the event. 

A resident on the third floor of the building said he saw the suspect - whom he referred to as “Chris” - before the incident.

“He seemed really good,” he said.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the man was in rehabilitation for drug abuse.

“He was really bad on speed... he’d change (and have) different mood swings,” the resident said. “He was in rehabilitation."

Following the death, nearby residents say the block has stayed quiet. The building manager, Michael Unger, said the complex - which used to be known for drug activity – has improved in the last few years since a change in ownership. He said yesterday’s events have shocked the neighbourhood.

“We were quite surprised,” Unger said.

Since the new owners have taken over the building, security cameras have been added to hallways. Unger says many of the residents are families with kids or senior citizens.

Unger made few comments on the suspect and the victim, other than to say the victim was not a resident of the building and that police have released the crime scene.

Epp said the event is not drug-related and there are no other suspects in custody.

“There is no further risk to the public,” he said.

Deanne Wheeler, 26 was found deceased in Christopher Frank Butler's apartment.
Deanne Wheeler, 26 was found deceased in Christopher Frank Butler's apartment.
Image Credit: Facebook

-This story was updated at 2:06 p.m. to include the suspect's name.

-This story was updated at 2:39 p.m. to include the victim's name. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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