Police seeking public’s help in solving case involving the death of an elderly Pelham man

Niagara police File photo

Niagara police are seeking witnesses that may have information in solving a case in which a Pelham man was dragged to death by a thief.

Today NRPS issued a bulletin asking to speak to drivers travelling in Pelham on Highway 20 between Balfour Street and Cream Street on Friday, Oct. 2. between 2 a.m. – 3 a.m.

The investigation is ongoing around the death of an elderly Pelham man who was dragged to his death as he tried to thwart the theft of his trailer.

Here is the background on this story: Police were called to a Pelham neighbourhood early Friday morning to find Earl Clapp, 74, who was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

“Detectives with the Niagara Regional Police Service Homicide Unit have reason to believe that the male victim may have interrupted an attempted theft of one of his trailers on the victim’s property, on Centre Street in the town of Pelham, prior to 2:41 a.m. on Friday,” said a police update Sunday.

Clapp was struck and dragged by the vehicle as it fled north on Centre Street, then west on Highway 20.  He was later discovered dead by police near Cream Street.

Welland’s 3 District uniform officers, K9, and emergency services responded to a call to Highway 20 and Cream Street in Pelham at 2:42 a.m. Friday. Police say the call was “in response to a welfare check.”

The incident is under investigation by Niagara police detectives along with the Collision Reconstruction Unit, the Forensic Service Unit, and the office of the Coroner.

Highway 20 remained closed Friday from Balfour St to Center St in Pelham in both directions until 3:40 p.m. during the police presence.

Detectives are asking anyone who lives in the area or may have been traveling through the area between the hours of 12 a.m. – 3 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 to to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service if they observe anything suspicious. Police are especially interested in any home security footage or dashcam video of the area. Contact the Niagara Regional Police at 905-688-4111, dial option 3, ext. 9134