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Second suspect arrested in Devine Street homicide

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Journal Staff
The second suspect in a Devine Street murder has been arrested, police say.

Noah Elijah Brown, 28, was arrested today and faces first-degree murder charges in the death of a Sarnia man on Jan. 26. He is the second person in custody related to the incident.

Joshua William Tomlinson, 35 years of age, of Sarnia, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder.

It’s still unclear if the homicide on Devine Street is connected to another murder that occurred on Essex Street on Jan. 24, Sarnia Police Chief Norm Hansen said today.

On Saturday, a woman was found dead in her Essex Street home. Police are treating the death of 66-year-old Sue-Elin Lumsden as a homicide.

Sarnia resident Allen Schairer has been identified as the victim in the Jan. 26 homicide on Devine Street, police say.

At today’s Sarnia Police Service Board meeting, Mayor Mike Bradley said the board and city council stand behind officers involved in the investigation and offered more resources if needed. Up to 20 officers have been assigned to the investigation, Hansen said after the meeting.

Neighbours are rattled after a string of homicides ushered in 2021. Since Jan. 1st, four murders have been committed in Sarnia’s south end.

Bradley said the incidents will hopefully bring back closer ties among neighbours. He asked Chief Hansen at the meeting if a neighbourhood watch program could be resurrected.

“Let’s be our brothers and sisters’s keepers. It’s not an onerous role really. It’s just keep your eyes open, get to know your neighbours,” Bradley said after the meeting. “And then if things unusual are going on, report them.”

Local broadcaster and Devine Street resident David Burrows believes COVID-19 lockdowns are intensifying issues around mental health and addictions and adding to a sense of uneasiness in the neighbourhood.

“It’s overwhelming for this community. I’ve lived in Sarnia all my life. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Burrows said.

He said despite COVID-19 restrictions, effort has to be made to connect with friends and neighbours.

“We have to continue to find ways to say hello to each other.”

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