HALIFAX — Police have charged a 27-year-old Halifax man with second-degree murder in the death of an off-duty police officer who was reported missing earlier this week when she didn’t show up for work.
Halifax police say Christopher Calvin Garnier is also charged with indecently interfering with a dead body.
They say Garnier, who was due in Halifax provincial court on Thursday, was arrested during a traffic stop at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday.
The arrest came about an hour after the body of Catherine Campbell was discovered in a wooded area near an overpass that leads to the Macdonald Bridge connecting Halifax and Dartmouth.
Campbell was reported missing on Monday when she didn’t show up for work at the Truro Police Service.
Supt. Jim Perrin of Halifax Regional Police said Thursday that Campbell was last seen at a bar in downtown Halifax early Friday morning and police do not believe her work as a police officer had anything to do with her death.
Perrin said the charge of indecently interfering with a dead body was laid “because of the cavalier way that Miss Campbell’s body was disposed of.”
Police allege that Campbell met the accused at a bar on Thursday night, but they don’t know whether they knew each other before they met.
“Our evidence has led us to believe that they met in downtown Halifax,” he added. “Obviously…how that meeting took place is something that’s still under investigation. But we have confirmed that they were together in downtown Halifax.”
Police are also asking for anyone who might have seen a man pushing a green bin around 4:30 a.m. on Friday to the underpass where Campbell’s body was found to come forward.
Perrin said police believe Garnier was pushing the cart.
When asked if the cart contained Campbell’s body, Perrin would only says that it contained evidence.
Earlier this week, Campbell’s parents issued a public appeal for information to find their daughter.
Her mother said Campbell loved being a police officer.
“Catherine was a loving person, a dedicated police officer. … She was conscientious,” Susan Campbell said on Wednesday.
The young woman was also a volunteer member of the fire department in her hometown of Stellarton for a decade, and her mother said she’d held a variety of jobs in the community before deciding to train as a police officer, finding a job in Truro as soon as she graduated.