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16-year-old found dead in Canada in 1976, officials say. Now, DNA leads to man’s arrest

A 16-year-old was found dead in Canada in 1976, and now a man has been arrested in her death and charged with murder, officials said.

Pauline Brazeau, a single mother from Saskatchewan, was last seen leaving a restaurant in Calgary, where she had recently moved, according to a news release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Brazeau’s body was found in Cochrane, about 20 miles northwest of Calgary, officials said.

Brazeau’s death was ruled a homicide, and the case eventually went cold, officials said.

In 2021, Alberta Royal Canadian Mounted Police worked with the Calgary Police Service’s Cold Case Homicide Unit to go over the information again, the release said. Through DNA technological advancements, detectives now use genetic genealogy to find leads.

In 2022, Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Historical Homicide Unit worked with a private laboratory, the Calgary Police Service and genealogists, the release said.

“By 2023, the team had a lead on a potential suspect,” police said.

On Nov. 7, Ronald James Edwards, 73, of Alberta was arrested and charged with murder, officials said.

“The Alberta RCMP Historical Homicide Unit investigators are committed to speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. The search for Pauline’s killer has never ended over the past 47 years,” inspector Breanne Brown said in the release. “Throughout the years we have always been hopeful that the person responsible would be held accountable. ... I truly hope that Pauline’s surviving family find some closure as they receive answers.”

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