Ross Kleman, shown here in a photo from his Facebook page, has been charged with first-degree murder in Emily Stauffer's slaying. The face of the other person in the photo has been digitally obscured.

A man from Edson, Alta., has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Emily Stauffer, a teen who was attacked in broad daylight as she walked along a path in the town in September.

Ross Edward Kleman, 43, who works for the town of Edson as an equipment operator and lives just blocks away from Stauffer's home, was arrested on Wednesday morning.

RCMP said Thursday that he has been charged in the Sept. 27 slaying in northwest Edson, about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Kleman is in custody and is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Edson on Dec. 16.

At a news conference Thursday morning, RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes said investigators aren't expecting to charge anyone else in the case.

"The grounds that officers have at this point leads them to believe that one person is responsible," he said.

About 50 RCMP officers were in Edson Wednesday for the arrest, and to collect forensic evidence, Oakes said. 


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

Police executed a number of searches in different areas, he said.

Oakes said the nature of the charges suggest police believe the attack was not random.

"If you look at the context of first-degree murder it does indicate a need for some degree of planning and preparation," he said. "To what extent that existed, again, that's actual evidence that will have to be presented in court."

Oakes would not indicate when Kleman came to the attention of police, saying that information likely won't be revealed until the case is heard in court. 

Emily Stauffer's father, Terry Stauffer, wrote on his blog Thursday about his family's mixed feelings to news of the charge.

"We are thankful for this step, and we are particularly thankful for the RCMP's 'above and beyond' work on this case," Stauffer wrote.

"On the other hand, this news brings many difficult feelings to the surface. We're doing pretty well, though we're lying low today. We continue to trust in God for his strength and comfort."

Stauffer noted on his blog that he doesn't know Kleman, though he had seen him once or twice at town events.

On his Facebook page, Kleman describes himself as a "believer," calls the Bible his favourite book and lists "church" among his activities and interests.

"Some call me lazy and some call me crazy," he writes on his page. "You tell me what you think and if you can't decide ask my wife."

Kleman also lists fishing, hiking, and water-skiing as some of his interests.