A suspicious death in a basement apartment in Vanier could potentially be Ottawa’s first murder of the year.

The Ottawa Police Service major crime section is investigating an incident after a male body was discovered inside a residence at 102 Jolliet Ave., shortly after noon Thursday.

Police have yet to identify the deceased, but neighbours said his name was Denis Mitrow, a man who had spent nearly all of his approximate 50 years living in Vanier.

Mitrow’s cousin, who also lives on Jolliet Avenue, said Mitrow’s sister said he had been stabbed to death.

Outside the house, one of Mitrow’s friends, who identified himself as Rocky, said Mitrow was a good guy who liked playing guitar and liked to drink beer.

Rocky said Mitrow’s roommate, a woman named Martha who had lived with him for several years, had spoken to police earlier in the day.

Another man had recently moved into the basement apartment, said Chris Wengie, a neighbour across the street. His name was also Rocky, but Wengie had not seen him.

Julie Wengie said Martha and Mitrow fought frequently and police were often called to the house. Wengie said a police car had been at the house Wednesday night.