North Bay OPP lay first-degree murder charge against local man for 1980 murder
SUDBURY -- After over 40 years, Ontario Provincial Police have finally laid a first-degree murder charge in a northern Ontario homicide case from 1980.
Micheline St. Amour was 20 years old when she was found stabbed to death in her bedroom in East Ferris Township on July 10, 1980.
The family of the victim waited anxiously for the news from OPP Wednesday morning.
"We hope to finally get closure and that Micheline can finally rest in peace," a source close to the family told CTV News.
Over the last four decades, advances in forensic technology involving DNA has helped uncover new information into the murder of the young North Bay area mother, police said in a news release. St. Amour's daughter was two years old at the time of the murder.
"The day you look forward to as a criminal investigator is being able to tell a family what happened to their loved one," said OPP Det. Insp. Kurtis Fredericks. "There is no closure to a family that loses a family member this way, but there is a sense of resolution and having answers to questions they’ve had for years about the loss of their loved one."
On Nov. 18, police arrested 62-year-old Roger Deschenes of North Bay and charged him with St. Amour's murder, OPP said in a news release Wednesday morning.
He remains in custody until a bail hearing can be scheduled.
"I think it shows, no matter how much time has passed, the OPP will still follow up on new information as it becomes available," said Fredericks. "Often when an arrest is made in a homicide it’s just the beginning of the investigation. This case is a little bit different in that so much time as passed and there’s been a lot of investigation done. There’s certainly still things to do. And like I asked before if anyone out there has information that they feel might be relevant to us we certainly want to hear from them."
The criminal investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority.
Police officials said despite how much time has passed, the dedication to the outstanding investigations remains the same.
"I’m doubtful that there’s many of the original investigators that are still working in the policing sector. But what I can tell you, from my personal experience, and knowing the dedication of our criminal investigation branch, which has existed well beyond the 40 years, is the process that they follow to meticulously detail their investigations, knowing full well that if that homicide remains unsolved, that the legacy work that’s been done will survive and be available for investigators in the future to do," said Chief Superintendent Regional Commander Carson Pardy.
Police have not yet provided any details about of the accused, outside of his name and age, nor a photo of him.