A 66-year-old man has been charged in connection with a homicide that took place in Edmonton nearly two decades ago.
The second-degree murder charge was laid last week in relation to the May 2002 homicide of 59-year-old Thomas Longmore.
Longmore was reported missing on May 4, 2002 after his roommate returned to Edmonton from working out of town and couldn’t find him.
“After noticing an unusual odour within the home, he began searching through some of the bedrooms and that’s when he made the discovery,” Staff Sgt. Ryan Tebb with EPS Historical Crimes Section said Monday.
Longmore was found dead under a bed inside his home in the area of 99 Street and 86 Avenue on May 9, 2002. At the time, police said the victim was tied up by his hands and feet, and there was duct tape over his mouth.
Homicide investigators became involved and his death was ruled a homicide a day later following an autopsy, according to police.
At the time, Tebb said police identified Denis Laframboise as a “person of interest.”
“They were known to be acquaintances,” Tebb said Monday. “They were known to each other and he was visiting with Mr. Longmore on the first (May 1, 2002) when he was last known to be alive.”
However, police said investigators “lacked evidence to lay charges.”
In January 2019, the file was opened for review and the EPS Historical Crimes Section resubmitted exhibits to the RCMP for forensic testing. Police said Monday that the results of testing identified a DNA profile that led officers to a suspect.
Due to advances in technology, Tebb said only about a third of the DNA is required today to create a DNA profile compared to 18 years ago.
Last Thursday, police arrested Laframboise, who is now 66, and charged him with second-degree murder.
“This is exactly why we review historical homicide files,” Tebb said.
“While DNA testing at the time wasn’t sophisticated enough to identify a suspect, today’s technology has made it possible to do so, and hopefully bring a sense of resolution to the victim’s family.”
Tebb said police have been in contact with Longmore’s family and said the charge brings them some closure.
“I would like to say we bring some sort of resolution to our families when we are able to bring some closure to these files and charge people,” he said, “but that’s not always the case. People are looking for answers to get an understanding of why it happened and rarely are we able to bring them those answers.
“The family, I’m sure there’s a piece of closure there for them, but they didn’t get the answers they wanted.”
Established in 2018, the EPS Historical Crimes Section is made up of 10 officers who investigate historical homicides, missing persons and cold case sexual assaults.
“Most offenders, with the passage of time, I’m sure there is some complacency on their part that they believe they’ve gotten away with the offence,” Tebb said. “But the reality is we have a historical crimes section for a reason and it’s so we can go back and revisit these things.”
The four homicide detectives in the Historical Crimes Section currently have a caseload of 202 unsolved homicides dating from 1938 to 2017.