Wed, October 27, 2004

Centretown horror
Man charged after disabled woman killed in apartment

A PHONE call for help from a Percy St. apartment led police and paramedics to the body of a 34-year-old woman early yesterday. Diana Keeney is believed to have been choked to death. She was found dead in the small apartment building at about 4 a.m. An autopsy showed she died of "neck compressions."

Several other people were found in the apartment and taken away for questioning.

Police charged Christopher Baldwin, 21, of no fixed address, with second-degree murder.


The case is Ottawa's ninth murder of the year.

Keeney's body was taken out of the building as forensic investigators combed through the apartment.

Baldwin is a friend of Keeney's boyfriend and police believe there was an argument "as a result of a domestic situation" before she was killed.

Most neighbours slept through the incident, waking up to find police cars and crime scene tape in the alley beside the building near Catherine St.

Neighbours said Keeney was developmentally disabled and had been hanging around with several people.

Keeney had been living in the apartment for more a year and often had guests living with her, said neighbours.

She had also been the victim of violence in the past and a neighbour said police had recently visited the building.

"It's not the first time she got beaten (up)," said one male neighbour.

The man said he awoke yesterday to sounds coming from the alley and watched as police tried to control the scene.


One person was lying in the alley and police struggled with a woman who had a "bottle of pills in her hand she wouldn't let go of," said a neighbour who watched the arrests.

"She made quite a fuss," the neighbour said.

Several neighbours said they had seen police cars at the building prior to yesterday's incident.

"It's a noisy apartment. They're pretty noisy people," said Jason Clement who lives directly above the crime scene.

"There seemed to be a lot of arguments."

Clement was at work at the time of the call to police, but said he heard "yelling and screaming" and banging earlier in the day.

Clement said three or four people were often in the small apartment all day.

Baldwin was scheduled to appear in court today.