Alberta man charged in 1976 Ontario homicide
Accused appears in court 37 years after victim stabbed to death
An Alberta man has been charged in a killing that occurred in southern Ontario more than three decades ago.
The lifeless body of 54-year-old Donald Ross McAvella was found in his Burlington, Ont., apartment on April 26, 1976. Police say he was stabbed multiple times by his attacker two days earlier.
On Wednesday, Halton Regional Police said that a further review of the case over the past few months, as well as new information, provided investigators with enough evidence to charge 66-year-old Jan Goro of Banff, Alta., with second-degree murder.
Witnesses at the time told police they had overheard an argument between two people at McAvella's apartment at approximately 2:30 a.m. on the morning of April 24, 1976.
At around 5 a.m. screams were then heard coming from the residence and witnesses saw a man leaving the building.
Investigators believe the man took a taxi destined for Hamilton.
It’s unclear exactly what tipped off police all these years later, or to what extent the two men had known each other.
A spokesperson for the McAvella family said they were relieved that someone had been arrested in connection with their father's killing.
Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner applauded his investigators' efforts and said he hopes the arrest eases the pain felt by the victim's family.
"I am proud of the efforts of our homicide unit members, who have remained committed and dedicated to not only identifying the person responsible for this incident, but all of our unsolved homicide investigations," Tanner said. "We hope that this arrest will bring some measure of closure to the friends and family of Mr. McAvella."
Goro appeared in a Milton, Ont., courtroom this morning and was remanded until Friday.