DNA leading police closer to 1988 killer
Charlottetown police believe there's a good chance they are about to zero in on the killer in a 1988 homicide.
Byron Carr was killed in the early hours of Remembrance Day 20 years ago in his Charlottetown home after a sexual encounter with another man.
Const. Brad MacConnell was assigned the investigation when it was reopened almost a year ago. A big part of the probe has been looking again at DNA evidence, using improved, modern techniques.
MacConnell has collected DNA from close to 50 people, both witnesses and suspects. Some of those samples were given voluntarily; others came only after police obtained warrants.
"Certainly there are a number of real legitimate suspects amongst those and it would not surprise me if any one of those were a match," MacConnell told CBC News this week.
Better community relations
Progress in the investigation has been about more than improvements in science. Creating a new list of suspects and witnesses has meant improving the relationship between police and Charlottetown's gay community.
Troy Perrot of AIDS P.E.I. said for decades the gay community has not trusted the local police force, but MacConnell is doing great work to repair that relationship.
"It certainly has improved; it certainly still has a way to go," said Perrot.
"Part of the things we have talked about is the need for sensitivity training. And Officer MacConnell has guaranteed us he would go to bat to make sure that when we come up with a particular course, that he would make sure it would be mandatory within the city police department. So that's a huge step forward."
MacConnell said even if a DNA match comes back from the lab, work still needs to be done to place that person at or near the scene of the crime.