UPDATE: Abbotsford police investigate potential homicide

Police believe Leanne Friesen, found dead in her home, is the victim of a homicide.

UPDATE: Abbotsford police investigate potential homicide

In the driveway of the two-storey home in the quiet Abbotsford cul de sac is a hockey net.

The yard is neatly manicured, and a string of small white Christmas lights is strung across the eavestrough of the garage.

A Ford F-150 X-Metal pickup is parked in the driveway.

It appears to be the typical family home in a nice residential neighborhood, but on Wednesday night it proved to be something else.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced on Thursday morning that they were investigating a possible homicide at the residence.

Police went to the home in the 34800 block of Cassiar Court – in the McKee area of Abbotsford – after receiving a call at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday from a family member who asked them to check on the well-being of a female resident.When they arrived, they found a deceased 40-year-old woman. A 40-year-old man in the home was arrested and remains in custody.

APD Const. Ian MacDonald, speaking to reporters at the scene Thursday morning, confirmed that the two people involved had previously been in a relationship.

“We’re dealing with a tragedy, and we’re dealing with a case of domestic violence … This is a nice neighbourhood in a nice community, but that’s the way domestic violence occurs; sometimes it’s behind closed doors,” he said.

The Abbotsford News has learned that the victim was Leanne Marie Friesen (photo below).

A man who was a friend of Leanne’s told the Abbotsford News that she had separated from her husband, Jeff Wayne Friesen, a few months ago. Leanne remained in their home, and Jeff moved in with his parents.

The source said the couple had met in either Kelowna or Vernon, and had been married since about 2000.

Jeff is a contractor, and Leanne ran a home-cleaning business, he said.

The man described Leanne as “bubbly.”

“She was a really nice girl,” he said.

The couple had two children together, ages 10 and 13, and MacDonald said the kids were in the home at the time of the incident.

“I have been reassured they were not present for the discovery of the deceased,” he said.

IHIT, which was called to the scene by the APD at about midnight, is now leading the investigation. Spokesman Cpl. Adam MacIntosh said investigators will remain on the site for another day or two to gather evidence, and an autopsy will be performed on the victim.

Other details, including the cause of death, were not being released.

“This incident represents a tragic loss of life, and we wish to extend condolences to friends and family of the victim,” MacDonald said.

This is Abbotsford’s first homicide of the year.