Alberta man arrested in connection with death of two women

Jeannette Chief and Violet Heathen, were killed in 2007 and 2009.
Violet Heathen, left, and Jeanette Chief. (Supplied)

An Alberta man has been arrested in connection with the murder of two women.

Jeannette Chief and Violet Heathen, were killed in 2007 and 2009. Both Heathen, 49, and Chief, 48, were from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Sask., near the Alberta border.

On Wednesday police announced they had arrested a 59-year old man for the murder of the two women.

Cpl. Hal Turnbull of the RCMP's K Division said he expects the man to be charged by the end of the day. 

"We anticipate that the person who was arrested will be charged with, at least, two counts, one in each case, of first -degree murder," said Turnbull.

The remains of the two women were found outside of Lloydminster, which straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Heathen's remains were found near Kitscoty, Alta. and Chief's in a rural area just outside the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster.

Members of the RCMP from both provinces worked together during the course of the investigations.Turnbull said that over time, the team was able to gather enough evidence to "identify a nexus between the two cases" and through that find a person of interest.

Even though the cases are almost a decade old, the RCMP never stopped investigating, Turnbull said.

Both Chief and Heathen are on the missing and murdered indigenous women list. 

Read about the cases from CBC's MMIW coverage:

Tom Chief, Jeannette's nephew, said the family was experiencing "mixed emotions" and did not want to comment further. 

They will be attending an RCMP press conference in Edmonton on Thursday.