Nova Scotia

Man faces murder charge in death of 85-year-old Dartmouth woman

Halifax Regional Police have charged Richard George Willis, 62, with first-degree murder in the death of 85-year-old Eleanor Harding.

Investigators seek tips related to a hitchhiker the day before woman was found

A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 85-year-old Eleanor Harding of Dartmouth. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Halifax Regional Police have charged a suspect in the death of an 85-year-old Dartmouth woman earlier this month.

Eleanor Noreen Harding was found dead in her Lynwood Drive home on the morning of July 11. Police first called the death suspicious, and nine days later, after the ruling of the medical examiner, declared it a homicide.

In a news release Friday, HRP said they arrested 62-year-old Richard George Willis on Thursday in Dartmouth.

Willis is charged with first-degree murder and breaking and entering. Police said he's scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court at a later date.

Police did not say in the news release if the suspect and victim were known to each other.

Willis has a record of past criminal convictions and was sentenced for theft under $5,000 last January, and assault last November.

Police said Friday that Willis lived in Truro, but court records list his address as Lynwood Drive, the same street where Harding lived.

Investigators are looking for anyone who picked up a hitchhiker between Dartmouth and Truro between 2 a.m. and noon on July 10, the day before Harding was found dead.

Anyone with tips can contact police directly at 902-490-5020 or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.