Police have charged a man in connection with the death of Calgary mother Laura Furlan, three years to the day after her body was discovered in a park.

Christopher Dunlop, 38, is facing charges of manslaughter and indignity to a human body. Dunlop was the original suspect three years ago.

Police said they believe the 38-year-old’s death is linked to prostitution and say Furlan led a high-risk lifestyle and was involved with drugs.

It’s alleged she met Dunlop several hours before she disappeared that day. At some point during that evening, police believe she was killed and her body was dumped in Fish Creek Park.

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Christopher Dunlop, 38, has been charged in the 2009 death of Laura Furlan. (Facebook)

Dunlop, also a parent, has a history with police, involving minor charges.

Furlan’s sister Lisa Furlan-Diaz said the family wasn’t surprised to hear drugs were believed to be involved, but they were devastated with the news that police believe Fulan's death is related to prostitution.

"She had drug problems and she was good at some points in her life, bad in others — but this, for a lot of people, is like, 'woah!'" said Furlan-Diaz.

"From the coroner’s report that we had, it was a drug overdose, so to find out that someone is being arrested and charged with manslaughter, totally freaks everyone out."

Though the family is cautiously optimistic that the arrest will bring closure, Furlan's sister said the news has opened an old wound.

Furlan-Diaz said her sister was a good person and a loving mother. Her son is now 18 and just starting college.

Furlan’s friend and coworker Dawn Harvey said the woman had a really big heart.

"Things really seemed to be going well for her, so to read that they think she was prostituting herself, I'm not sure that I buy that," said Harvey.

Investigation

Furlan’s body was found two weeks after she died, but police have been able to determine how she died, said Staff Sgt. Grant Miller of the homicide unit on Saturday. They are not releasing that information to the public.

The investigation is ongoing and charges could be upgraded, said Miller.

On Friday, police released information about a truck asking the public to help track down its driver, believing he may have information that could be helpful to the case.

Furlan was last seen on Aug. 24, 2009, and was reported missing by her family a week later.

Miller said Furlan's family was glad to hear of the development but says nothing will bring their loved one back.

Dunlop was arrested without incident Friday. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday morning.

With files from the CBC's Meghan Grant