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Gathering solid evidence slow process: Chief

It took four and a half years to make an arrest for the murder of PaulaGallant, but police say it gives hope for other families who have beentorn apart by unsolved homicides.

It took four and a half years to make an arrest for the murder of Paula Gallant, but police say it gives hope for other families who have been torn apart by unsolved homicides.

“No matter how much time passes, our officers remain committed to investigating other unsolved homicides,” Halifax Regional Police Chief Frank Beazley said at a press conference yesterday.

Investigators hit a brick wall in the Gallant case until new information came to light in the spring of 2009. Since then a team of at least 15 investigators reexamined the case and gathered evidence to lay the first-degree murder charge against Gallant’s husband, Jason MacRae.

“The elements of first-degree murder include planning and deliberation so obviously those components have been reviewed by the public prosecution service who recommended it was an appropriate charge,” said Halifax RCMP Supt. Darrel Beaton.

MacRae was a “person of consideration” early on in the investigation, but Beazley said proving he was a suspect took time.

“The days of a short turnaround in major files are a thing of the past,” Beazley said. “There are so many stages in the investigative process that have to be carried out: The evidence has to be assessed at every stage, the forensic evidence is not like you see on TV.

“Almost every homicide, unless someone confesses or you catch them at the scene with a smoking gun is going to take a period of time.”

Daughter
Under care Paula Gallant and Jason MacRae’s five-year-old daughter, Anna, is being cared for by a family member.

 
 
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