A former Ottawa Citizen reporter and his wife were found dead in the backyard of their Ottawa home on Monday night, and their son has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Cameron Rogers was charged Tuesday morning in the deaths of Dave Rogers, 69, and Merrill Gleddie Rogers, 63. He appeared in court in Montreal and was scheduled to be transferred to Ottawa later Tuesday.
At 9:15 p.m. ET Monday, a 22-year-old man called Montreal police and was taken into custody downtown, police said.
Based on the information Montreal police gathered, investigators called Ottawa police to notify them about a possible incident at 1614 Apeldoorn Ave. in Ottawa’s Carleton Heights neighbourhood.
Ottawa police then found the couple dead at about 10:20 p.m. ET, police said.
Sources said the bodies were found in the backyard near a shed.
Major crimes unit investigators believe the incident that led to the Rogers’s deaths may have occurred days ago.
‘Always looking for ways to help him’
Dave Rogers worked at the Citizen from 1975 until his retirement about five or six years ago, according to Citizen reporter Joanne Laucius.
“Dave was just a great guy and a wonderful reporter. He was the kind of reporter every newsroom could use five or six of.
“He was uncomplicated, he was straightforward, he did his work well. … When he left, we missed him because he was so very productive and really such a nice guy to have around.”
She said she remembered Rogers and his wife adopting Cameron as an infant.
“Dave was a friendly guy, a mild-mannered guy, an open guy, but at the same time he was rather private. It came as a surprise, for example, when he and his wife adopted Cameron … but it was obvious that Dave was just so, so thrilled to be a dad for the first time. And he was in his late 40s at the time,” she said.
Laucius said she remembers hearing over the years that Cameron Rogers was having academic problems and that his parents were “always looking for ways to help him.” But she never heard anything to suggest any violence at home, she said.
“I got the sense that Dave and Merrill were very happy parents, and that they really enjoyed Cameron and were always doing whatever they could to help out,” Laucius said.
Family was ‘friendly, discreet’
Ehab Zalok, who lives next door to the Rogers, said he never heard any disputes or altercations at the home and described the family as “discreet” but “friendly.”
Zalok said the couple asked him about how to best get some AutoCAD design software training for Cameron Rogers.
“I know they [his parents] were trying to get him very hard into education,” Zalok said, adding that the couple had tried to get him into college, but it was unsuccessful.
“They were very calm, very quiet most of the time. Two Halloweens ago, he [Cameron Rogers] was dressing … in a full costume, giving candies and stuff,” Zalok said.
“It’s very sad.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said Tuesday that he was saddened by the news.
“Obviously I’m very saddened by this double homicide. I knew Dave Rogers … I didn’t know his wife, Mrs. Rogers, but I knew Dave,” Watson said.
“He was a reporter with the Ottawa Citizen, a very decent, kind individual. He interviewed me on a number of occasions and I, like most people in the city, are shocked by this and saddened for his family.” The deaths are Ottawa’s 18th and 19th homicides of 2016.