|An investigator at the scene of a fatal fire at 90 Woodridge Crescent in Ottawa, November 27,2012 (Errol McGihon/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA -- Lucie Goudreau by all accounts did not have an easy life. She did not have an easy death either.
The body of the 53-year-old disabled woman, who lost her husband to cancer three years ago, was found Tuesday after a fire in her west-end high-rise apartment. Her 30-year-old son is charged with first-degree murder.
A longtime resident, she had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair.
On Tuesday evening, Rene Goudreau, dressed in prison garb, stood in the prisoner’s dock as they charges were read to him. During the short hearing, he muttered incoherently.
Neighbours were shocked.
“I didn’t want to believe it myself. This I would have never expected,” Jill Moore said. “She was quite nice. That’s shocking.”
Goudreau shared the ground-floor unit with her son. Those who knew the family said Rene Goudreau was in and out of the Royal Ottawa with mental-health issues, but no one suspected violence.
Lucie Goudreau had lived at the building for at least a decade, and also used a caretaker, neighbours said.
She had battled MS for several years, but in the last couple of months, Lucie was not seen out as often, added the friends, who believe her condition was deteriorating.
A blackened window was the only evidence of the fire from the outside of the building, which remained behind police tape Tuesday.
Major crime detectives are investigating as well as the arson unit and the Ontario Fire Marshall.