RCMP lay murder charges against 2 people in 2012 Sheet Harbour double homicide
Charges in relation to the 2012 homicides of Matthew Allan Hebb and Earle Clayton Stewart have been laid by Halifax RCMP.
Elmer Percy Higgins, 65, and 49-year-old Karen Marie Higgins have been charged with second-degree murder and related firearms offences.
“Today’s charges represent over four years of tireless investigative work,” said Insp. Trudy Bangloy, the officer in charge of the Integrated Criminal Investigative Division.
The bodies of Hebb, 22, and Stewart, 59 were found as emergency personnel were responding to a 911 call of a fire at a camp near Sheet Harbour, N.S. in the 450 block of Highway 374 on Dec. 12, 2012.
Police say both deaths were confirmed to be homicides. The men were from Spryfield.
A few days later, on Dec. 18, Elmer and Karen were arrested in relation to the homicides. They were arrested again in March of this year and later released without charges.
On Wednesday, they were arrested at a Halifax residence without incident.
The case has kept police investigating for years, including scouring the waters in Sheet Harbour in 2015. Questions about the case led to $150,000 being offered through the Nova Scotia Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes program, which helped in laying the charges.
“Information came forward from this program that greatly assisted us in laying the charges yesterday,” Bangloy told reporters Thursday.
“In the end we’re hopeful that yesterday’s developments will provide some measure of comfort to their family and friends.”
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said the time it took for charges to be laid are in part due to how investigations operate.
“The investigations are based on facts and evidence which does take time,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said. “As you can expect, investigations of this nature are very complex with many factors at play and what’s important here is we have two individuals charged for the tragic and unnecessary deaths of two men.”
Hutchinson said he could not speak to the evidence that led to police laying the charges.
They are both scheduled to appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court Thursday.
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