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'Long windy road' to justice, says friend of cold case murder victim as Quebec man appears in Calgary court

The friend of a southern Alberta woman killed 16 years ago says she plans to attend every court appearance of the Quebec man who was arrested last month in connection with the cold case murder.

Stephane Parent appeared in Calgary court via closed-circuit TV Tuesday morning

Stéphane Parent was arrested last month in Gatineau, Que. Police said he had been living in Ontario and Quebec since leaving Calgary shortly after Adrienne McColl's death. (Postmedia)

The friend of a southern Alberta woman killed 16 years ago says she plans to attend every court appearance of the Quebec man who was arrested last month in connection with the cold case murder.

Stéphane Parent, 49, appeared over closed-circuit television in a Calgary courtroom Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder in the 2002 death of Adrienne McColl. He will remain in custody for at least another month.

"Sixteen years is an incredibly long time to wait for justice," said McColl's friend Shandi Bard, who attended Parent's court appearance along with three other women. "I plan on being at every court date set and know this will be a long windy road ahead."

Dressed in a blue remand centre-issued jumpsuit, Parent said nothing as lawyers put the case over for five weeks so that defence lawyer Susan Karpa can be officially retained as counsel. 

​Parent is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Adrienne McColl, who was last seen on Valentine's Day 2002. 

Adrienne McColl's body was found near Nanton, Alta., of Feb. 17, 2002. An arrest was made last month in Quebec. (RCMP)

Exactly 16 years after McColl's body was discovered in a rancher's field near Nanton, south of Calgary, police arrested Parent outside his Quebec home last month.

Friends of the victim have told CBC News that Parent and McColl were romantically involved at the time of her death but had a volatile relationship.

Parent, who was a person of interest at the time of McColl's death, bought a one-way ticket to Ottawa days after McColl's body was found. 

Police believe Parent has lived in Ontario and Quebec ever since, and he has family in Gatineau, Que., where he was arrested.

Parent will be back in court April 24 and McColl's friends plan to be there too.

"All I can do is lend my support to Adrienne's' memory," said Bard. "She was a wonderful friend and her memory burns bright to all that knew her."

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.