A 30 day psychiatric assessment has been ordered for an 85-year-old Calgary man accused of murdering his 80-year-old wife.
Dr. George Duska told court that Siegfried van Zuiden likely has dementia and does not really understand why he was in court.
Van Zuiden was charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday after his wife was found dead in the couple’s home.
“There is no history of domestic violence that police are aware of at this time,” police said in a statement.
Officers were called to the Rideau Park condominium complex in the 3000 block of Rideau Place S.W. at around 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
“Mr. van Zuiden contacted police, met police at the door, brought them inside the residence,” Insp. Don Coleman said. “So he’s cooperated.
“It’s very rare and very tragic…I don’t see the value in sensationalizing this at all. It’s truly a tragedy for that family.”
Van Zuiden is originally from Holland. He has written a book about Nazi-occupied Holland, described as “a personal account of survival.”
According to his author biography, van Zuiden came to Canada in 1952 and eventually settled in Calgary where he founded a sailboat business.
Neighbours said residents in the Devonshire House apartment building suspected van Zuiden suffered from dementia.
Several neighbours told Global News van Zuiden frequently became disoriented and wandered the building and sometimes wandered into other tenants’ suites.
Coleman declined to comment on whether the accused suffers from a medical condition, explaining that type of information would come forward in the hearing process.
“The elements of the offence have been met, so a charge is laid,” he said. “What happens post-charge through the hearing process is another matter and not up to us. If there is medical issues, that’ll come to light then.”