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Emily Stauffer was killed on Sept. 27. ((Courtesy Stauffer family))

An Edson, Alta., resident has been arrested in the Sept. 27 slaying of 14-year-old Emily Stauffer.

The man was arrested Wednesday morning without incident, RCMP said. They did not release his name or any identifying details, as he has not yet been charged. 

The man is being held at the RCMP detachment in Edson.

At an afternoon news conference, assistant commissioner Bill Smith of RCMP K Division said police would like to lay charges as soon as possible.

"But we need to respect some of the ongoing activities that are continuing with the investigation," Smith said.

Attacked in daylight

The arrest was the first major break in the two-month investigation that followed Stauffer's slaying.

"I think there's a great deal of relief," Smith said.

"Any homicide is unfortunate. However, the homicide of a young, vibrant teenager is...particularly disturbing, I'm sure, for anybody. So certainly there's a sigh of relief for not only the community and the family, but for the police as well."

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RCMP investigators combed through a house in Edson, Alta., on Wednesday. Police announced an Edson man has been arrested in connection with the slaying of 14-year-old Emily Stauffer. (CBC)

Stauffer was attacked by a man in broad daylight along a popular walking path in northwest Edson, which is about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Smith read a written statement from Emily Stauffer's parents, Terry and Juanita Stauffer, to reporters at the news conference.

"As a family we are thankful for the significant progress the RCMP has made in the investigation of Emily's murder," the statement said. 

"Together, with our community, we are encouraged by the announcement made today. We would like to express our thanks to the RCMP for their extraordinary work in seeing this case through to this point."

As police made the announcement at the council chambers in Edson, RCMP investigators clad in white suits and booties combed through a bungalow that was surrounded by police tape.

The house is about five blocks away from where Stauffer lived with her family.

Edson Mayor Greg Pasychny said there is a sense of relief in the community.

"Today's a good day, without question," he said. "Definitely there's a sense of relief when someone's arrested.

"I think when someone is formally charged that may change the relief even more ... we definitely can get to normality in our community."