Sep 17 2015
HALIFAX - Police have charged a 27-year-old Halifax man with second-degree murder in the death of an off-duty police officer who was reported missing earlier this week when she didn't show up for work.
Halifax police say Christopher Calvin Garnier is also charged with indecently interfering with a dead body.
Garnier appeared in provincial court today and his case was put over to Sept. 30.
They say Garnier was arrested during a traffic stop at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday.
The arrest came about an hour after the body of 36-year-old Catherine Campbell was discovered in a wooded area near an overpass that leads to the Macdonald Bridge connecting Halifax and Dartmouth.
Campbell was reported missing on Monday when she didn't show up for work at the Truro Police Service.
Supt. Jim Perrin of Halifax Regional Police said today that Campbell was last seen at a bar in downtown Halifax early Friday morning and police do not believe her work as a police officer had anything to do with her death.
Perrin said the charge of indecently interfering with a dead body was laid "because of the cavalier way that Miss Campbell's body was disposed of.''
Police allege that Campbell met the accused at a bar last Thursday night, but they don't know whether they knew each other before that meeting.
"Our evidence has led us to believe that they met in downtown Halifax,'' he added.
"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.''
Police are also asking for anyone who might have seen a man in shorts and a T-shirt pushing a green bin around 4:30 a.m. on Friday along Agricola Street and North Street to the underpass where Campbell's body was found to come forward.
When asked if the cart contained Campbell's body, Perrin would only says that it contained evidence.
Perrin said police believe Campbell was killed early on Friday at a residence on McCully Street.
Police are not looking for other suspects but more charges could be laid, Perrin said.
Earlier this week, Campbell's parents issued a public appeal for information to find their daughter.
Her mother said Campbell loved being a police officer.
"Catherine was a loving person, a dedicated police officer. ...She was conscientious,'' Susan Campbell said on Wednesday.
The young woman was also a volunteer member of the fire department in her hometown of Stellarton for a decade, and her mother said she'd held a variety of jobs in the community before deciding to train as a police officer, finding a job in Truro as soon as she graduated.
Campbell's brother-in-law, Calvin Garneau, described her as "an exceptional person.''
"She was very friendly, very outgoing and very outspoken,'' he said from his home. "She'd give anything that she had to help anybody else.''
Garneau, who is married to Campbell's older sister, said she had been with the force since 2009. She was not married and did not have children, he said.