A Canadian man has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the separate slayings of three women whose deaths sparked a lockdown and manhunt in an ordinarily peaceful area of eastern Ontario.

Basil Borutski, 57, appeared in an Ontario courthouse Wednesday to answer to the charges.

Borutski is accused of killing Carol Culleton, 66, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48. Their bodies were found at separate locations by police Tuesday morning within a roughly 15-mile (25-kilometer) radius of Wilno.

The suspect's brother, Will Borutski, said two of the victims used to date his brother.

Local residents said the deaths of the three women, all slain within hours of one another on Tuesday morning, have thrown the community of about 300 people into a profound state of grief.