Family of accused cop killer says he has mental health issues

‘He was really never the same’ after his wife died, Oscar Arfmann’s family says

The man accused of killing Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson refused to seek help for mental health issues, according to his family.

In a statement, Oscar Arfmann’s family said the 65-year-old Alberta man’s wife died in April 2013.

“He was really never the same,” they wrote.

READ: Suspect charged in killing of police officer

READ: Man arrested by Const. Davidson calls him an ‘awesome dude’

He spent three days in a Saint Paul, Alberta hospital in July 2015 for a mental health evaluation, according to the statement. But when his family tried to get him more help, they say he refused to see a doctor.

Arfmann’s family also expressed “their deepest condolences to Constable John Davidson and the Abbotsford Police Family.”

READ: ‘We have lost John and nothing can change that,’ Abbotsford Police chief says

READ: More on Davidson’s 24 years in law enforcement here.

Hope Arfmann said she married Oscar when she was 18 but the marriage lasted less than three years because he was emotionally abusive.

The couple lived in the small hamlet of Sunnybrook, Alta., and also on a farm near Millet, where she said he would hunt small rodents and birds.

“The birds deserted the area, the squirrels, the gophers — anybody and everybody spread the word: stay away from that area,” she said.

She said their split was tense and she suffered a medical condition that caused blackouts when she felt distressed.

“I wanted to leave and he decided to keep me from doing that,” she explained. “I had been cutting up a roast at the table to make him a last lunch. And he says, ‘well, you ain’t going unless I let you go, and I ain’t letting you go.’ And that’s all I heard. When my sensibility came back, there was a knife in the wall.”

However, she said the incident had been enough to bring about a change of mind on his part. She said in no time at all, he had packed up her belongings and driven her into Edmonton.

After their split, their contact was limited, though they had a son together who she later gave up for adoption. Hope said after their divorce was made final by a Wetaskiwin court in the summer of 1975, Oscar married a woman named Patricia.

“I heard by the bye that they were still like honeymooners after 40 years,” she said. “I was tickled pink. He married the right person the second time. For some reason, they clicked.”

She said Oscar took Patricia’s death hard.

“The only thing that he really loved was Patricia,” she said.

With files from The Canadian Press


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

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