Second-degree murder charge laid in 2002 death of Adrienne McColl
Published Monday, February 19, 2018 7:01AM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 19, 2018 6:49PM MST
Police have made an arrest in connection to the death of a woman whose body was found 16 years ago in a rancher’s field near Nanton and say Stephane Parent, 49, was picked up by police in Gatineau, Quebec on the weekend.
Adrienne McColl was last seen alive on Valentine’s Day in 2002 and her body was found three days later by a rancher who was herding cattle.
At the time, the police investigation centered around McColl's boyfriend, Stephane Parent, but there was never enough evidence to charge him.
Last week, RCMP reached out to the public for tips on the case and said that the key to the investigation lied with those who knew how the 21-year-old died.
Police said that they were able to utilize new technologies to get additional information from evidence that was gathered at the time of the murder and that brought them closer to apprehending and charging the person believed to be responsible for McColl’s death.
On Monday, police confirmed that Parent was arrested in Quebec on Saturday and he is now charged with second-degree murder.
“Thanks to advancements in forensic technologies along with concerted investigative approaches to evidence gathering our investigation progressed to the point where charges have been brought. The RCMP Major Crimes Unit alleges that Stephane Parent killed Adrienne McColl 16 years ago,” said Superintendent Garrett Woolsey, Assistant District Officer of Southern Alberta District RCMP.
Investigators say Parent bought a one-way ticket to Ottawa shortly after the murder and that he has lived in Ontario and Quebec ever since.
“When this file first came forward in 2002, Stephane Parent was treated as a person of interest and, in fact, a missing person for a period of time. It was a matter of several days following that that he surfaced out east, to the best of my knowledge, he’s been in Ontario and Quebec nearly the entirety of that time,” said Woolsey.
Woolsey says McColl’s family has been waiting a long time for news of an arrest.
“It was 16 years this past Saturday, February 17, 2018 since Adrienne was found dead. Adrienne’s family has spent years waiting for an arrest, to know the truth about what happened to her and to bring a sense of a closure to the void their loved one’s death left in their lives,” he said. “As a former homicide investigator myself, there’s two sides to it. One you’re thrilled as a professional that all of your work has come to fruition and you now have a case you can take to trial, but you also know the other side that there is a family that has been deeply, deeply impacted by this throughout the past 16 years.”
RCMP say Parent will be returned to Alberta some time on Monday to face the charges.