Off-duty police officer Catherine Campbell was most likely strangled to death, according to court documents filed by the RCMP.
The new information details what the police investigation revealed about Campbell’s last hours, and her accused killer Christopher Garnier‘s alleged actions in the days that followed.
The document called an “Information to Obtain” was filed with the courts in February, to justify getting a warrant for Garnier’s DNA.
In September, Garnier was charged with second degree murder and indecently interfering with a body, following the discovery of Campbell’s body on Sept. 16, 2015. Halifax Regional Police allege she was killed on Sept. 11, 2015.
The evidence was filed by RCMP Const. John Berger. According to Berger’s statement the information contained in the court filing is based on discussions with other investigators on the case, reading and viewing witness statements and police interviews, and accessing police databases.
None of the information contained in the information to obtain have been proven in court. Garnier’s lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
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According to the document, police conducted two interviews with Garnier. In the first one he said he met Campbell at the Ale House where they kissed and spoke for about an hour but he said he didn’t see her again after leaving the bar.
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However, after he was arrested on September 16 the documents say he admitted to killing her.
In the second police interview, Garnier allegedly admitted to repeatedly punching Campbell in the face and strangling her with her hands, according to the document filed by Berger.
The document says Garnier allegedly told police “he could hear her last gasp.”
The document doesn’t mention motive or what events transpired before the attack. The document says the murder happened at a house on McCully Street, which was being rented by a friend of Garnier. At the time, police say Garnier’s friend was in the Halifax police drunk tank.
In the same interview Garnier allegedly told police that before he was arrested, he was planning to move her body from the wooded area where it was found near the Barrington Street on-ramp to the Macdonald Bridge.
Campbell’s body was found by police shortly after midnight on Sept. 16, down an embankment and covered by an ottoman, according to the police document.
From McCully Street to the Macdonald Bridge
Surveillance footage from cameras at a business that overlooked the McCully street house, and from the bridge commission were used by police to track Garnier’s movements between 4:28 a.m. and 5:40 a.m. on Sept. 16.
According to the document, the footage shows a man dragging a green bin behind him, while walking south on Agricola Street.
He then appears on camera near North and Barrington, also dragging a green bin. When the man reappears on camera walking up North Street, he no longer has the green bin with him.
An officer who viewed the video footage captured on Agricola Street, identifies the man in the video as Garnier. The documents say the identification was based on the officer’s personal dealings with Garnier and from his observations of his face, hairline, and tattoo.
A green bin was found about 500 metres away from where police found Campbell’s body.