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World News | Canada’s long-unidentified murder victim was a Tennessee spa owner who traveled to Montreal in 1975


TORONTO, July 6 (AP) – A woman who was found dead in eastern Ontario 48 years ago has been identified as the Tennessee spa owner who went missing on a trip to Montreal and a man who knew her, police said Wednesday. Florida man has been charged with murder. .

The woman became known as the “National River Lady” for decades after her body was found floating in the National River not far from a road bridge near Castleman, Ontario, on May 3, 1975.

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Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release that technology using DNA to find a genetic match identified her as Jewell Parchman Langford.

Detective Inspector Daniel Nadeau said the 48-year-old woman, a well-known figure in the Jackson, Tennessee business community, co-owned a spa with her ex-husband.

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In April 1975, she traveled to Montreal and never returned home.

“At that time, her family in Tennessee reported her missing,” Nadeau said. “While I cannot reveal the exact details that will be entered at trial, I can tell you that the accused and the victim knew each other.”

Rodney Nichols, 81, of Hollywood, Fla., was charged with murder last year but withheld the charge at the time so as not to jeopardize his extradition from the United States. Nichols has yet to appear in court on the charges and has not entered a plea, CBC reported.

Langford’s case is the first in Canada to use genetic forensic technology to identify victims, police said.

Other identification methods have been tried, including creating a 3D approximation of her face in 2017, without success.

The Toronto Forensic Science Center obtained a new DNA profile of the victim in 2019. That data was sent to a laboratory in California, where it was matched against two people in the family’s DNA tree.

The DNA Doe Project, which works to identify cold case victims, said Ontario Provincial Police contacted them for help and the victim’s DNA profile was uploaded to a genetic genealogy database in 2020. The group’s volunteers identified Langford as a possible candidate within weeks.

Ontario’s Chief Coroner, Dr. Dirk Huyer, said the DNA profile was used to help establish possible links between the victim and others.

DNA samples were then obtained from Langford’s surviving relatives, including her niece, Huyer said.

Police said Langford’s remains were returned to the United States in 2022, and a memorial service and funeral were held for her. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)


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