A suspect who was brought in for questioning by police about the stabbing death of Dale Porter in North River was released without being charged Thursday.
It reportedly happened late Thursday afternoon after the suspect spent hours speaking with RCMP investigators.
It came as a surprise to reporters from various media agencies, who were waiting at provincial court in Harbour Grace most of the day for the man to be brought before a judge. That was after word from a St. John’s lawyer that he was expecting to appear in court to represent the man.
A small group of people had also gathered at the courthouse.
An RCMP news release sent late Thursday indicated Porter’s death has become a formal homicide investigation, but few other details were made public. Although it repeats assurances that the public is not at risk, the release says no other details of the investigation will be made public.
The RCMP said a post-mortem has been performed, but those findings will also remain unavailable for the time being.
Residents of North River say the quiet town was rattled by the sounds of emergency sirens and police vehicles speeding to Porter’s house on North River Road, near the intersection with Efford’s Lane, about 4 a.m. Sunday.
Porter was discovered with serious injuries when responders arrived, and later died.
Originally from Port de Grave, Porter was in his early 40s and the father of two school-aged children — a boy and a girl.
Sources say Porter had arrived home in a taxicab from the Coach House nightclub in nearby Bay Roberts.
Porter’s death has rocked the entire Conception Bay North region.