OPP make arrest in 1973 Attawapiskat killing after MMIW inquiry renews investigation

ATTAWAPISKAT — Ontario Provincial Police say they have charged a man in the 1973 killing of a woman in a remote northern First Nation.

Police say an investigation into Helen Carpenter’s death in Attawapiskat was renewed in late 2019 after a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls published its final report.

OPP cited advancements in DNA technology and a focused investigation when announcing this week’s arrest, which came just two days after the 50th anniversary of Carpenter’s death.

OPP say 78-year-old Remi Gregory Iahtail of Attawapiskat has been charged with manslaughter and rape under the 1973 Criminal Code.

Police say 21-year-old Carpenter was found dead on Oct. 23, 1973.

They say an investigation was conducted at the time and no charges were laid.

“For 50 years the family of Helen Carpenter and the community of Attawapiskat have been seeking answers concerning Helen’s death. Now, with the advancement of DNA technology and a focused investigation, the OPP have made an arrest in this case,” Det. Insp. Shawn Glassford, of the OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch, wrote in a statement.

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