B.C. man charged with 1979 murder
A British Columbia man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his 12-year-old niece in the Okanagan city of Penticton more than a quarter of a century ago.
Ernest John Gardiner, 68, has been charged with the murder of Susan Duff.
The girl was last seen alive near a popular Skaha Lake beach at the south end of Penticton in September 1979. Her body was found in the Carmi Hill area just east of the city limits by a hiker nearly a month later.
Police say it was one of the most shocking crimes ever committed in the Okanagan, and has been a high priority for the RCMP's cold case squad over the past decade.
"In 1994, our unsolved homicide unit began actively investigating the murder, and has been very active since that time," says Cpl. Rick Dellebuur.
Dellebuur says Gardiner also faces six counts of sexual assault in connection with a series of attacks on females that happened around the same time as Duff's death.
Gardiner remains in police custody and is appearing in provincial court in Penticton on Monday.