Arrest comes as shock to family’s neighbours
The man accused in Ottawa’s first homicide of 2008 will appear in court today, charged with the murder of his father.
Ottawa Police took Elliot Benge, 22, into custody almost immediately after being notified of Pierre Benge’s death on Monday afternoon and yesterday announced they had charged him with second-degree murder.
Pierre Benge, 59, was married to Albertine and was the father of four grown children. While relatives of Benge contacted by Metro declined comment yesterday, neighbours described the victim as “a kind man” and said they were shocked to learn he had been pronounced dead at hospital shortly after being discovered at 2:16 p.m. Monday without vital signs in a townhouse at 86 Somero Private.
Anna Tarada, who lived near the Benges, said she knew the family for 14 years. She said the family was “very nice” and she never had any complaints about them. Her daughter Alejandra, 15, used to play with the accused when they both were younger.
“He was a very nice, fun guy,” Alejandra Tarada said of the suspect. “I’m shocked that this happened.”
Pierre Benge had recently joined the University of Ottawa’s Alumni Board in May and Guy Laroque, the director of Alumni Relations, remembered him yesterday as “a very affable man, always willing to volunteer.
“We did not get a chance to see him achieve his full potential,” Laroque said.
Benge had studied political science and regional and urban planning. He held two masters degrees from the University of Ottawa.
Yared Mammo said Benge was a frequent patron of his convenience store on Lorry Greenberg Drive. About seven months ago, Mammo said Benge approached him to ask for his help in finding a job for his son.
He said Benge seemed disappointed his son Elliot apparently had no interest in finding work on his own.
“He was a very polite man, one of the best people to see,” he said.