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Victim’s family asks for time to absorb arrest

Timberlea resident Seana Hartlen couldn’t wait to get home and tell her son the news.

Timberlea resident Seana Hartlen couldn’t wait to get home and tell her son the news.

Her son was in Paula Gallant’s class at Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Elementary School.

“Paula was my son’s teacher and she was a neighbour. To finally have some closure...” she said nearby where Jason MacRae was reportedly arrested yesterday morning in relation to Gallant’s murder.

“It’s amazing. We’re just thrilled.”

Halifax West MP Geoff Regan sent out a statement yesterday saying he was encouraged by the news of the arrest.

“I hope that we are on the road to closure for the family and the community at large,” Regan said.

Gallant’s sisters, Lynn Gallant-Blackburn and Lana Kenny, have done much to keep their sister’s memory alive.

They’ve hosted events, launched an awareness campaign and a website. The family didn’t want to talk to media yesterday, but Hartlen, who knows one of the sisters, said they must feel some relief.

“There was rumour in the community but the investigation takes time,” she said. “The family’s persistence in keeping her memory alive — and they remain steadfast and true to her memory and to their mission -— and this, has certainly paid off.”

In 2009, Gallant-Blackburn told Metro that as time passes she feels more hopeful that Paula’s killer would be brought to justice.

“Our family, more than anything, needs closure,” she said.

Timeline of events in murder of Paula Gallant
• 1:30 p.m., Dec. 27, 2005: The last time Paula Gallant spoke to a family member.

• 10:14 p.m.: Gallant reported missing to police.

• Her car, a green 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier, was spotted in the parking lot just after dusk on Dec. 27, 2005.

• Police officers found her body in the trunk of the car at 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2005.

• Jan.2, 2006: Hundreds of people attend Gallant’s funeral in Timberlea.

• Feb. 8, 2006: Jason MacRae questioned by police and released.

• March 2006: Police officers conduct door-to-door canvassing in Timberlea to search for clues.

• Summer 2006: Gallant’s case launched with the province’s Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes program.

• Aug. 17, 2010: Police make arrest in case. No charges have yet been laid.

‘Baby of our family’ remembered
In the memorial on the paulagallant.com website, the sisters wrote:

“We miss her beyond that which any word could convey. We have lost the baby of our family… Paula, we love you and miss you with each passing day… Keep smiling down upon us.”

Statement coming
The family didn’t want to speak to media yesterday. Members said a statement will be made in the coming day.

 
 
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