Police at tent near train tracks at Vic park

A police officer guards a tent set up where a body was found on Thursday near train tracks at the edge of Kitchener's Victoria Park. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Police have charged a Waterloo man with murder in what they are calling the strangling death of Mark James McCreadie, who was found dead near Kitchener's Victoria Park in April. 

McCreadie, 50, was was found in a wooded area next to train tracks just off Schneider Avenue on April 10.

Derrick Michael Lawlor, 52, has been charged with first degree murder, and appeared in court Tuesday.

Lawlor was arrested on April 17 and was initially charged with aggravated assault. Police said at the time that he fought with McCreadie the evening before McCreadie’s body was found. They also said at the time that the injuries sustained by McCreadie in the altercation would not have been life-threatening. 

But the assault charge has now been upgraded after post-mortem and toxicology reports revealed McCreadie had been strangled, police said. 

"There is a previous connection and association involving both the victim and the accused," said police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel. "There is involvement there that we're not able to comment on at this time, but it's clear to investigators that the two knew each other."

Police are asking anyone who has had recent intimate physical or sexual contact with Lawlor to contact them. 

"Detectives believe information they may have may assist them in the ongoing investigation," said Heinzel.

He provided no further details.