Harley Lawrence’s death still under investigation: RCMP

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By Nancy Kelly

BERWICK - Police have no new details to share about the investigation into Harley Lawrence’s death.

Harley Lawrence's brother, Ron, kneels beside a headstone that was placed in a Hantsport cemetery in Harley's memory. The headstone was donated by a community member. Harley, 62, died in a fire in a Berwick bus shelter in October. - Photo by John DeCoste

The 62-year-old, who had been living on the streets of Berwick for several months in 2013, died Oct. 23 when the bus shelter he was sleeping in went up in flames. His death was deemed suspicious and is being investigated by the South West Nova Major Crime Unit.

“The investigation remains active,” RCMP media liaison Sgt. Alain LeBlanc said Jan. 15. He said investigators are still talking to people but could not speak to the number of tips that had been received from the public.

Despite the fact there have been no significant developments with either suspects named or arrests made, LeBlanc stressed the investigation is “not a cold case."

“No, it’s nothing like that,” said LeBlanc, noting the Kingston detachment of the RCMP, which polices the Berwick area, is being kept appraised of activity with the case.

Read more about the history of the case here.

LeBlanc said information from the public is still being sought and that it is common for people to come forward with new information well into an investigation.

“Circumstances can change for people. If anyone has information to share, we want to hear from them.”

Berwick Mayor Don Clarke said Jan. 14 that he has not received any updates from police into the investigation.

“I have heard nothing, but would be interested in asking some questions at our upcoming police advisory committee meeting,” said Clarke, who understands investigators need time to follow-up on the case “the right way.”

Clarke reported a public meeting is being planned by the town’s director of community development to address issues and concerns associated with Lawrence’s death and his struggles as a homeless person.

“It will serve as a de-brief, help us understand what the community has learned and how we can move forward,” said Clarke.

He said the plan for placing a bench, dedicated to Lawrence’s memory, will be discussed at the meeting. Clarke hopes the meeting will take place later this month or in early February.


Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Berwick, Kingston

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Recent comments

  • Phil
    January 15, 2014 - 19:42

    Has anyone given thought that this poor man may have lit a fire to keep warm and accidently got out of control ?.