Body of missing Nova Scotia police officer found, man taken into custody

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HALIFAX — The body of a missing Nova Scotia police officer was found in a wooded area in Halifax early Wednesday, investigators said after taking a 27-year-old man into custody in the case that is being treated as a homicide.

Police said the body of Catherine Campbell was discovered in a wooded area east of Barrington Street at North Street near an overpass at about 12:10 a.m.

Just over an hour later at 1:20 a.m., they say they took a Halifax man into custody for questioning. No charges have been laid.

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“Investigators in the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division believe the remains to be those of 36-year-old Catherine Campbell and are treating her death as a homicide,” Halifax police Const. Stacey Opalka said in a statement.

“We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Catherine Campbell at this extremely difficult time.”

Police initially said Campbell was last seen at 6:30 a.m. Thursday in Dartmouth, but then learned during the investigation that she was at a bar in downtown Halifax in the early hours of Friday morning.

Campbell was a constable with the police department in Truro and her mother Susan Campbell said she did her training at Holland College in P.E.I.

Campbell said her daughter loved being a police officer.

“Catherine was a loving person, a dedicated police officer. … She was conscientious,” she said in a telephone interview.

She was a volunteer member of the fire department in her hometown of Stellarton for a decade, and her mother said Campbell held a variety of jobs in the community before deciding to train as a police officer, finding a job in Truro as soon as she graduated.

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“She was highly thought of at the Truro police force,” she said.

Her brother-in-law, Calvin Garneau, described Campbell as “an exceptional person.”

“She was very friendly, very outgoing and very outspoken,” he said from his home. “She’d give anything that she had to help anybody else. That’s just the type of person she is.

“Catherine was Catherine. The person she was was amazing.”

Garneau, who is married to Campbell’s older sister, said she loved her work as a police officer and had been with the force since 2009. He said she was not married and did not have children.

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Police said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Her employer reported her missing on Monday after she failed to show up for work.

“Our thoughts are also with the Truro Police Service on the loss of one of their own,” the police statement stated. “Losing a member of the policing family is extremely hard to bear but would be even more difficult given the tragic circumstances of Catherine’s death. The entire police community is mourning this loss.”

The Canadian Press

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