March 3rd, 2024

Crown says suspect in Quebec cold case murder tracked down by Y chromosome project

By The Canadian Press on January 16, 2024.

A Quebec Crown prosecutor says a man charged with the sexual assault and murder of a 19-year-old Quebec junior college student nearly 24 years ago was tracked down by a project that matches DNA with certain male surnames. Guylaine Potvin, shown in a Quebec provincial police handout photo, was found dead in her apartment in Jonquière, Que., on April 28, 2000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Sûreté du Québec, **MANDATORY CREDIT**

MONTREAL – A Quebec prosecutor says a man charged with the sexual assault and murder of a 19-year-old junior college student nearly 24 years ago was tracked down with the help of a project that matches DNA with male surnames.

Prosecutor Pierre-Alexandre Bernard began presenting his case today against Marc-André Grenon, who is charged with the first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault of Guylaine Potvin.

Potvin was found dead in April 2000 in her apartment in Jonquière, Que., some 215 kilometres north of Quebec City.

Bernard told the 14-member jury that while male DNA was discovered at the crime scene, there was no match in the police database and no witnesses to the crime.

He says the suspect was arrested more than 20 years later, after a project tracking Y chromosomes – which are passed down from father to son – first suggested the DNA might be connected to the last name Grenon.

Bernard says police arrested Grenon in 2022 after DNA on two drinking straws he had discarded were found to be a match with the evidence from the crime scene.

Superior Court Justice François Huot is presiding over the trial at the Chicoutimi courthouse, which is expected to last five weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2024.

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