Who is Andrew Keene?
BARRIE - In the eyes of Alexandra Flanagan’s family and friends, and to Barrie police, he was a suspect from the beginning.
Andrew Robin Keene, 29, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree murder in Flanagan’s death and indecency to a body.
The charges have yet to be proven in court.
Keene was a new friend of Flanagan’s, and her mother was suspicious of him from the get-go.
Wendy Flanagan told The Toronto Star in October 2007 she believed Keene was interested in an intimate relationship with her daughter, but the feelings weren’t reciprocated.
Barrie police officers spoke to Keene early on in their investigation, and after bones were found near Lackies Bush Oct. 5, they obtained a search warrant on his Rose Street apartment. Starting Oct. 24, 2007, Officers spent three days combing through his home, but didn’t lay any charges.
Const. Julie Reynolds said officers won’t comment on why Keene was a ‘person of interest’ in 2007.
In 2008, Barrie police again had a search warrant to look through Faurecia automotive plant on Bayview Drive, where Keene worked at the time of Flanagan’s death.
Then Thursday, Keene was arrested at Precision Waste in Innisfil, where he worked.
General manager Dave Murray said company staff is “quite shocked and surprised” with the arrest, but couldn’t offer more.
“We really don't know anything other than what we hear in the press,” he said.
News of the arrest has also hit Keene’s family hard.
A year ago, their family was suffered tragedy when Keene’s nephew, seven-year-old Devlin Britnell was diagnosed with meningitis.
After recovering from a high fever and subsequent stroke last year, Britnell is now back at home heading to school shortly.
Britnell’s grandfather Joe Lawrence said the Keene family is a “mess” after the arrest.
“His mother and father are basket cases. All I know is that he’s always been a good family guy. We just don’t understand the whole thing,” said Lawrence.
The 29-year-old suspect in the Alexandra Flanagan case has also created a lot of buzz in the social media world.
Flanagan’s friends who may have also known Keene have been asked to refrain from making any comments about him on the Facebook page, Action for Alex.
“This page will not be used as a venue to post pictures of the accused or as a witch hunt of the accused or his family and friends on Facebook,” said Angelina Briggs, a friend of Flanagan’s. “We are all very emotional, but this is not the way, any inappropriate comments have and will be deleted.”
She said the connection between Keene and Flanagan will come out in the trial, and wants to ensure the trial isn’t prejudiced by any comments posted on the page. http://www.simcoe.com/news/crime/article/1231144