Police say an autopsy confirms a North Sydney, man whose body was found on Friday, was the victim of a homicide.  

Police were called to a five-unit apartment complex on Townsend Street in Sydney just before midnight on Friday. When they arrived on the scene, they found the body of 35-year-old Troy Johnston of North Sydney in one of the upstairs units.

Investigators immediately suspected foul play, but haven’t released the circumstances surrounding Johnston’s death.

“Our members arrived at the scene and upon further investigation there was a male in the area that was arrested on an unrelated matter, and as a result of that arrest, he was a person of interest at that time” says Staff Sgt. Reg Hutchings.

Charles Wheeliker, 45, is charged with second-degree murder in the case and appeared in court Monday via videoconference.

Wheeliker has been remanded to the Cape Breton Correctional Centre at least until his next court appearance which is scheduled for Sept. 17 to allow him time to hire a lawyer.

“Mr. Wheeliker was only arrested on the weekend,” says Crown attorney Diane McGrath. “Obviously these events are still unfolding, the investigation is still ongoing. He has yet to attain legal counsel. Once he does, the matter will move forward.”

Police have released few details about Johnston’s death, but they do say the accused and the victim knew each other.

Krystal Denny is among the family and friends mourning the Maritimes’ latest murder victim. Denny remembers her cousin as kind and caring.

“He was always there for me,” says Denny. “He’d stop me on the side of the road just to tell me how much he loved me, whenever he sees me.”

Denny says her cousin’s death is taking a toll on their family, especially since Johnston had two young daughters.

“It’s very, very hard on everyone,” says Denny. “Such a sudden death like this, it’s really shocking. Shameful that someone would do this to my cousin, to my family.”

For now, Denny wants justice for a death she calls sad and senseless. Wheeliker returns to court next month for election and plea.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald