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Police investigating sudden death of local man


An investigation surrounding the circumstances of the sudden death of a 62 year-old Fort Frances man yesterday is underway by local OPP.

The man, Allan Williams, was found lying in the backyard at 612 Portage Avenue at about 6 p.m. last night. According to police a suspected passer-by found Williams and reported that he was unconscious. When police arrived the man was dead.

The circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated. At this time, police have no evidence to point to foul play, including any physical wounds indicating criminal activity.

“The post mortem will determine things of that nature,” said Cst. Dereck McLean, adding that the investigation will continue pending the outcome of the post mortem.

At present, police have secured the scene as to protect any evidence that may be there.

“The scene will be held by police until the post mortem is complete,” Cst. McLean said.

If the post mortem shows signs of criminal activity, the scene will be treated as a crime scene. The Fort Frances Criminal Investigations Unit is assisting with the investigation.

The post mortem is tentatively scheduled for today.

The property on which Williams was found is the drop-in centre for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Step Centre Program.

Neither police, nor CMHA could confirm that Williams was being treated at the centre, though it was indicated that Williams was known by staff.

The Step Centre program “services people that are mentally ill,” said executive director of the local CMHA Sheila Shaw.

“It provides skill training, education, job activities, assistance with financial records and almost any life skills area,” she continued describing the program.

The drop-in centre for the program, and CMHA offices which are also located at the residence, are closed all day today. The centre is open Monday to Friday but is not open on the weekend.

“We expect to be open as usual tomorrow,” said Shaw, indicating the results of the post mortem could change their plans.

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