Convicted killer Christopher Alexander Falconer, who was on parole when Amber Kirwan disappeared seven months ago, has been charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder of the 19-year-old, say police in New Glasgow, N.S.
Kirwan vanished last October after a night out with friends. Falconer, 29, was granted parole a year ago after serving time in prison for the second-degree murder of a cab driver in 1998.
At a briefing this morning in New Glasgow, RCMP Supt. Darryl Beaton said Falconer and Kirwan did not know each other before she disappeared. But he said that does not mean this was a random act.
"The elements of a first-degree murder charge are planning and deliberation, so in that context I think you can read into that it's not entirely random."
Police said a woman was arrested Wednesday but released in the evening without charges. No other arrests are expected.
Remains found in wooded area
Falconer appeared in court briefly Thursday morning. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on May 28.
Marjorie Kirwan, who lost her daughter months ago, said the charge against Falconer is a "bittersweet moment."
"At the end of the day, Amber's still gone," Kirwan said Wednesday night, adding that she always had faith in police. "It's just a matter of waiting and patience."
Kirwan, 19, left Dooly's pool hall in New Glasgow at about 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. Her friends said she was going to meet her boyfriend, Mason Campbell, at a convenience store nearby.
Campbell told police that she never showed up.
In a security video released by police, Kirwan is seen speaking with someone in a crowd of people. She then leaves the crowd and walks up the street alone.
Police and dozens of community members spent weeks searching the area for the young woman or any clue about her disappearance.
Parole revoked during probe
On Nov. 5, Kirwan's remains were found in a wooded area off Heathbell Road, about a half-hour drive from the pool hall.
Police ruled her death a homicide but didn't say how she was killed.
The weeks stretched on with no word of an arrest.
During the investigation, police would not confirm that Falconer, from Heathbell, was a suspect.
According to National Parole Board documents, Falconer's parole was revoked last fall while police considered him to be a "subject of interest" in a serious ongoing investigation.
During the Kirwan investigation, police seized a car that neighbours said Falconer drove regularly.
They also searched a home and property rented by Falconer's stepsister, a few kilometres from where the body was found.
Falconer was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the 1998 death of a cab driver in Heathbell.