WOONSOCKET – Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a suspect in the murder of a woman in her 79 Rathbun St. apartment, where her body had been found on Monday, but declined to provide further details on how they broke the case.
Brian Audette, 43, of 307 Elm St., Warwick, as charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Donna Pike, 57.
Audette is to be arraigned on the charge today in District Court, Providence, police said.
The statement by Detective Jamie L. Paone, department spokesperson, indicated Woonsocket Police had developed enough information to identify Audette as a suspect, but gave no details on how the alleged crime was carried out.
“The Woonsocket Police Department was assisted during this investigation by the New England State Police Information Network, the Rhode Island Fusion Center, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the Warwick Police Department, and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office,” Paone said.
Pike’s body was found in her home at about 7:30 p.m. Monday after her landlord called police to do a well-being check at the residence. Pike’s apartment was on the third floor of a building that had originally been home to the former Lauzon Funeral Home.
She was reported to have possibly lived in Providence for a time before taking the apartment and was known to regularly visit the Providence Center, an organization assisting adult and juvenile clients with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Pike’s death was ruled a homicide and opened an investigation that had local detectives working “really hard” to solve the murder, according to Police Chief Thomas S. Carey.
When reached about the arrest of Audette on Wednesday, Carey said the investigation of the murder was continuing and he could not comment on the details of that probe.
“We have a few more things to do in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office so I can’t answer any questions at this time,” he said.
Carey said additional information could be released by the department and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office following Audette’s arraignment in court.
“But before we can put out any additional information, we will have to confer with the Attorney General’s Office,” Carey said.
The chief would only add that the department had identified a suspect in Pike’s murder and that suspect was in police custody.