March 4th, 2024

Quebec cold case: Man faces first-degree murder charge in young girl’s 1994 killing

By The Canadian Press on December 12, 2023.

Quebec provincial police say they've made an arrest in the killing of a young girl in a Montreal suburb nearly three decades ago. Investigators with province's cold case unit say a 61-year-old man detained at the La Macaza medium security prison has been arrested in the 1994 killing of Marie-Chantale Desjardins, shown in this police handout photo, and will face a first-degree murder charge. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Surete du Quebec

MONTREAL – Quebec provincial police say they’ve arrested a 61-year-old prison inmate in the killing of a young girl in a Montreal suburb nearly three decades ago.

Investigators say Réal Courtemanche, detained at La Macaza Institution in Quebec’s Laurentians region, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the 1994 killing of Marie-Chantale Desjardins.

Desjardins was just 10 years old when she disappeared on July 16, 1994, after she left a friend’s house at the end of the day in Ste-Thérèse, Que., northwest of Montreal.

Her body was found four days later in the neighbouring community of Rosemère in the woods behind a shopping centre.

Provincial police say Courtemanche will appear before a judge later today in St-Jérôme, Que., northwest of Montreal.

Authorities say the arrest was made possible thanks to innovative methods in forensic biology by the province’s crime lab.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2023.

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