Ottawa Valley Shooting

Published: September 23, 2015

Ottawa Valley Shooting, Three women, including a 66-year-old from Ottawa, have been ID’ed by police as the victims of Tuesday’s murders in three Ottawa Valley communities.

Police first found 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk of Wilno dead in a home near the village.

Soon after, they visited a Foymont Road address south of Wilno and found the body of 48-year-old Natalie Warmardam of Bonnechere Valley.

At approximately 11:10 a.m., Bancroft OPP officers responded to a residence on Kamaniskeg Lake Road near Barry’s Bay where they found 66-year-old Carol Culleton of North Gower dead.

Basil Borutski, 57 of Wilno, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon in Pembroke, as the horror that swept through the Ottawa Valley gives way to grief, anger and the communities’ desire to know what led to the killing of three women.

The deaths were an “absolute slaughter” said Carl Bromwich, a local councillor who lives in Wilno.

Police found Kuzyk’s body around 9 a.m.

Police said OPP officers were called to “an incident” in Wilno, a tight-knit rural and largely Polish community about 180 km west of Ottawa. There, they found Kuzyk, a real-estate agent who also worked at a local tavern. A billboard on Highway 60 advertises Kuzyk’s real estate business, features a picture of her.

Evidence then led police to a residence about half an hour away, on Foymount Rd., near Lake Clear, where the second woman was found dead. Her former mother-in-law identified her as Nathalie Hopkins Warmerdam.

Finally, Culleton’s body was found south of Barry’s Bay..

As the tally grew, officers began their hunt for a suspect considered armed and dangerous.

“We do believe all the deaths are connected,” OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae told reporters. “It’s a sad day.”

Police advised local businesses to lock their doors and urged some residents to relocate while they searched for the suspect.

Wilno, ON and Foymont Rd area. OPP searching for armed suspect. Stay secure indoors and report suspicious persons or activity immediately

— OPP East (@OPP_ER) September 22, 2015
In convenience stores, gas stations and at Tim Hortons people were exchanging news about what they had heard about the victims and the suspect and theories about what the motive might be.

“Everybody knew who it was pretty quickly,” said a woman in a Killaloe convenience store who didn’t give her name. News spread quickly in the small towns, but there was so much information, it was hard to know what was accurate, she said.

Sara Burchat was home alone when police advised her that there was a male suspect on the loose near her Wilno property. Burchat said her husband was trying to return to be with her, but was kept away by road closures as the police investigated the scene.

“The cop was on the other end of the phone saying, ‘You either hide or get out.’ So I had to leave,” Burchat said from the local tavern.

As the hours went by, warnings spread to Ottawa, and more than one site in the city was placed on lockdown. An added police presence was seen at the Ottawa courthouse. The Pembroke courthouse was also placed on lockdown, OPP said. Rae would not elaborate on why those locations were secured except to say it was based on information police learned during their investigation.

“Just from the information we had, as a precautionary measure, it was done,” she said.

Finally, around 2:30 p.m., police arrested the 57-year-old suspect near Kinburn.

Andy McArdle was on his way home Tuesday afternoon when he noticed a dozen police vehicles lined in front of his house on Kinburn Side Road.

“At first I thought maybe it was an accident,” said McArdle, who lives across from the field where police arrested the shooting suspect. “But police assured me that everything was fine and that they were just looking for someone but said that I should stay inside my home.”

He and his family watched from his living room as more police vehicles arrived on scene, eventually totalling what he believed to have been 30 vehicles.

“They had their guns drawn and dogs were sniffing the area,” said McArdle. “Then one of the helicopters that was circulating the area landed in the field across the street then eventually took off.”

Wilno Update- 3 homicide investigations ongoing. Wilno, Foymont Road and Bancroft. 3 women deceased. 57 year old man in custody.

— OPP East (@OPP_ER) September 22, 2015
The suspect was described by Bromwich, the local councillor, as an “aggressive individual.”

“I knew of him, I didn’t want to know him personally,” he said. “He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to be around, very strong, the typical outlaw biker type. He wasn’t one of the guys who talked the talk, he walked it, too.”

Those who knew the victims, meanwhile, are stunned.

“She was the wife of my son, they were divorced a few years ago,” said Phyllis Warmerdam, who got a call at 4 p.m. from the mother of Nathalie Hopkins Warmerdam with the tragic news.

“She was very vivacious. She liked to come way down here on the farm,” recalled Warmerdam, who lives near Sarnia. “She’s a very nice lady and we enjoyed having her around. We’ll miss her a lot.”

A man with the same name and age as the suspect was recently released from jail after serving convictions for car theft, assault, choking and a firearms charge.

In separation papers filed in 2011, Mary Ann Borutski claimed that her husband Basil had assaulted her, although he “vehemently” denied those allegations.

The court documents also describe him as a millwright who had fallen on hard times. His right hand was cut off then re-attached after a job-site inujury in Kitchener, the court documents said. He also was in a motor-vehicle accident in 1994 that left him with residual injuries, including back problems.

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