Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Murder Charge Laid in Off-Duty Police Officer's Death in Nova Scotia

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Murder Charge Laid in Off-Duty Police Officer's Death in Nova Scotia

Article excerpt

Murder charge in off-duty officer's death

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HALIFAX - Police in Halifax made an unusual request for public assistance Thursday after accusing a former volunteer firefighter of murdering an off-duty police officer last week.

Christopher Calvin Garnier, 27, made a brief appearance in a Halifax courtroom where he was formally charged with second-degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Catherine Campbell, a constable with the Truro Police Force who was reported missing Monday when she failed to show up for work.

Supt. Jim Perrin of Halifax Regional Police told a news conference Garnier was also charged with indecently interfering with a dead body.

He said that charge was laid "because of the cavalier way that Miss Campbell's body was disposed of."

Perrin said police are asking witnesses in Halifax to come forward if they saw a white man in shorts and a T-shirt pulling or pushing a large, green compost bin through the city's north end last Friday around 4:30 a.m. Perrin wouldn't comment on what was in the bin, except to say that it contained evidence.

Investigators believe the victim met the accused last Thursday night at a downtown bar, where Campbell was last seen, Perrin said.

Police allege Campbell was killed hours later at a location on McCully Street in the city's north end.

Her body was discovered just after midnight on Tuesday night, less than a kilometre away in a wooded area near an overpass that leads to the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, which links Halifax and Dartmouth.

About an hour later, Garnier was arrested during a traffic stop.

Perrin said investigators do not believe Campbell's work as a police officer had anything to do with her death. As well, he said it was unclear whether the two knew each other before they are alleged to have met last Thursday.

"Obviously ... how that meeting took place is something that's still under investigation. But we have confirmed that they were together in downtown Halifax. ... We're continuing to explore whether they knew each other before that. …

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