New Brunswick

Grand Falls man charged after remains of missing Miramichi man found near rural highway

A 21-year-old man has been arrested after the remains of Brandon Martin, a Miramichi man who had been missing for a year, have been found and identified, say Miramichi city police.

Ethen James Harnish has been arrested in connection with the death

The remains of Brandon Martin were found and positively identified this week. He had been missing for a year. (Miramichi Police Force)

A 21-year-old man has been arrested after the remains of Brandon Martin, a Miramichi man who had been missing for a year, were found and identified, say Miramichi police.

Martin, a 21-year-old father of a young girl, was last seen in the city on May 22, 2019, and his disappearance was deemed "suspicious" by the Miramichi Police Force in August. The investigation led police to Route 108 in central New Brunswick, where Martin's remains were found Tuesday.

The following day officers arrested Ethen James Harnish, a 21-year-old man from Grand Falls. 

Harnish appeared in Miramichi provincial court Thursday and was charged with offering an indignity to human remains, police said. He was remanded and awaits a June 2 bail hearing.

Police said in a statement additional charges are expected to be laid. An officer later said he could not say if there were other suspects as the investigation is ongoing.

An autopsy has been scheduled to help determine the exact cause of death.

Martin, 21, was the father of a young girl. (Miramichi Police Force)

The statement did not provide an exact location, saying the body was found in "an area of the Plaster Rock-Renous Highway."

The wooded highway, which stretches for more than 150 kilometres between the two communities, is one of the few provincial highways to cut across the northern half of the province, linking western communities to the eastern coast.

Martin's family first reported him missing to police on May 30, 2019. Miramichi Ground Search and Rescue had searched the city and along the Miramichi River shoreline before the investigation took police outside the community.

Police declined to tell CBC News what led investigators to Route 108.

now