First arrest after unsolved crimes unit strengthened

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — The Quebec provincial police force’s expanded unsolved crimes force scored its first victory Thursday after a Quebec man was formally charged with murder in a 22-year-old murder of a college student.

Marc-André Grenon faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and assault in two separate trials of female students dating back to 2000.

Mr Grenon appeared via video conference in Chicoutimi, about 215 kilometers north of Quebec City. According to a Crown prosecutor, Marc-André Grenon was charged in court Thursday morning in connection with the murder of Guylaine Potvin, a 19-year-old girl who died on April 28.

Crown Prosecutor Pierre-Alexandre Bernard said Mr Grenon, from the east of Montreal town of Granby, was also charged with attempted murder and sexually assaulting another woman who was violently assaulted and left to die in Quebec City in 2000. A publication ban protects the identity of the victim who survived the attack.

Mr Bernard said Mr Grenon will remain in detention until his case comes back to court next month.

Quebec provincial police today confirmed Mr Grenon’s arrest is the first since bolstering their unsolved crimes unit in 2018.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) announced this year that it was increasing its team from five officers to nearly 30 to tackle hundreds of murders and suspected murders dating back to the 1960s, but as of this summer they have had a single case remaining enlighten .

On Wednesday, the summary of Potvin’s case on the Unsolved Cases website was updated to add the word “solved.”

Family members of victims of unsolved murders told The Canadian Press this summer that they feel police are not being proactive in their cases and questioned whether investigators are using advances in DNA technology to fix unsolved cases in the United States States and elsewhere have resolved to take full advantage.

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