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DNA match leads to murder charge in 13-year-old Calgary cold case

Calgary police have found a DNA match for a suspect in a 2013 murder. Getty Images

An Edmonton man, who was only 16 at the time Tara-Anne Landgraf was found dead on a Calgary street, will be tried in youth court for her murder, after being arrested and charged more than 13 years after the attack.

Landgraf’s body was found on Burns Avenue S.E. at about 5 a.m. on August. 5, 2007, by a passerby.

The 37-year-old woman had been stabbed to death, and investigators also believe she was sexually assaulted.

Read more: DNA solves 1984 murder of Christine Jessop, suspect dead: Toronto police

DNA from evidence collected at the scene was analyzed back in 2007, but it didn’t match with any profiles in the National DNA Data Bank or the Crime Series Index.

“A thorough investigation was completed, but investigators ran out of leads to follow,” Calgary police said Monday.

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The case was reopened in late 2019 as part of the police service’s review of unsolved murders and, working with forensic specialists, investigators identified a possible suspect in September 2020. The suspect’s DNA matched the DNA collected at the scene of the crime in 2007.

The man, now 28, was arrested on Friday in Edmonton and charged with first-degree murder in Landgraf’s death. He cannot be named as he was a youth at the time.

Investigators don’t believe the man knew Landgraf before she was attacked.

Read more: Edmonton police charge Ontario man in 1981 sexual assault case

The man is set to appear in court on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and police said the case will be tried in youth court.

Police could not give details of why a match was found now, but not in 2007, as the man was a youth at the time of the incident. Police also could not say whether he has a criminal record.

“We never stop in our pursuit of justice for murder victims. As technology advances, we are continuously reviewing unsolved homicides to see how new techniques can be applied to find new leads and bring answers to families of murder victims,” Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm said.

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“Investigators have been in touch with Tara-Anne’s loved ones and they are relieved after all this time to have answers in her tragic death.”

Calgary police thanked the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service for their help in the investigation.

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