News Local

Port Hope man's murder wasn't random act: police

By Pete Fisher, Northumberland Today

PORT HOPE - Investigators believe a Port Hope man murdered last September may have been targeted.

Michel Leblanc, 53, was found dead in his home at 3 Pochon Ave. on Sept. 24, 2009. Emergency services were called shortly before 8 a.m.

Reports indicate the man's son ran next door to a neighbour's house after he could not wake his father.

Police immediately deemed the investigation suspicious. An autopsy confirmed Leblanc was murdered.

"It wasn't a random act with the information we have," lead investigator OPP Detective Inspector Shawn Glassford revealed last week for the first time.

But Glassford wouldn't say if there were persons of interest, or if police believe the victim knew his killer(s).

"That is something I can't discuss as this is an ongoing investigation," he said.

While the number of officers working on the investigation has been reduced since the murder, Glassford said, "we still have the appropriate amount" of officers from the Port Hope Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police.

Glassford said he's "hopeful" the investigation will conclude with the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in Leblanc's death, adding that time is not an issue.

"As long as it takes, we'll work on it," he said.

Police also say that, at this point, they do not believe there is any concern for public safety.

Leblanc worked for over 30 years at Sabic Innovative Plastics on Normar Road in Cobourg, where friends described him as well liked and a hard worker.

Police are requesting anyone who might have information to contact Port Hope Police Service at 905- 885-8123 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to Call Display.