Maple RIdge deaths a murder-suicide: RCMP

The deaths of Richard and Karen Beck are now classified as a murder-suicide by the RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

The bodies of the husband and wife were pulled from a house fire in the Whispering Falls subdivision in east Maple Ridge Nov. 15.

"Police are not in a position to offer intimate details of the murder-suicide except to say that the fire has been eliminated as a cause of death," RCMP said Monday afternoon.

Firefighters discovered the two adults while trying to put out the fire on 263 Street.

Richard Beck, 54, and Karen Louise Beck, 52, were both pronounced dead at hospital.

Dennis Lacroix, who's lived in the neighbourhood for 10 years and is its Block Watch captain, said the couple separated this past summer.

Only he had been living in the house, but cars belonging to both of them were parked in the front driveway Thursday, Lacroix said.

He had recently seen Karen Beck in front of the house, cleaning it out as the couple was preparing to sell it.

"She was a very nice and outgoing person," said Lacroix, who used to talk to her while playing basketball outside with his son, "but I hardly spoke to Richard. He was kind of quiet."

A woman house-sitting in the neighbourhood called 911 when she saw plumes of smoke from her kitchen at around 4:30 p.m. She rushed outside to warn neighbours and wait for the fire department, which arrived 10 minutes later.

"I can't believe how quickly the house went up in flames," she said.

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