Man wanted in Edmonton strangling death arrested in Vancouver, charged with murder
Gregory Christopher Tessman, 49, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Valerie Maurice
The man wanted on a Canada-wide warrant in connection with a killing in Edmonton last week has been arrested in Vancouver, according to Edmonton police.
Gregory Christopher Tessman, 49, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Valerie Maurice.
Police say Tessman was arrested at a homeless shelter on East Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver Tuesday evening.
"I would like to thank the media for their assistance with this investigation, which ultimately led to the quick arrest of Mr. Tessman," Staff Sgt. Bill Clark of the EPS homicide unit said in a news release late Tuesday night.
Previous sexual assault conviction
Tessman was previously convicted in January 2007 of sexually assaulting a woman working as an escort in Daysland, Alta. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison and prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years.
Early Tuesday afternoon, police said they thought Tessman was still in Edmonton.
But just after 3 p.m., the police service issued an update, saying they now believed Tessman traveled to Victoria, B.C., over the weekend and may still be in that area.
Maurice, 29, was found dead in Tessman's apartment suite in the area of of 144th Avenue and 88A Street on Aug. 31. Police believe she went to the apartment on Tuesday, Aug. 29, around midnight.
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Clark said Maurice and Tessman did not have a relationship.
"We're aware that she led a high-risk lifestyle, but the focus today is not on the victim but on finding Mr. Tessman."
Maurice frequently travelled between Edmonton and Montreal. A friend from Montreal said Maurice had started to distance herself from friends and had started contacting them less frequently.
"She was very secretive about her life," the friend told CBC Montreal on Sunday. CBC News has agreed to hide her identity because she fears for her safety.
"We tell her, this can be dangerous. But she doesn't listen [to] us."
A day before Maurice's body was found, her friends posted messages on Facebook saying they hadn't heard from her and were worried.
The friend said Maurice used to live with a man with whom she often travelled to Edmonton.
"She had a very good heart," the friend said. "She was very funny. She was generous. She loved animals."
Maurice would have celebrated her 30th birthday on Labour Day.
Her death is Edmonton's 34th homicide of 2017.