Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Soldier charged in death of wife

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OTTAWA -- Police say a Canadian soldier has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife.

Fifty-year-old Howard Richmond appeared in an Ottawa court Saturday morning.

Police detained and questioned the warrant officer on Friday.

The body of Richmond's wife, Melissa Kelly Richmond, 28, was found near a suburban Ottawa shopping centre this week.

The cause of death has not been released but media reports indicate she was stabbed several times.

CFRA radio is reporting Richmond will appear in court again on Tuesday on the allegation he's been charged with.

His wife's funeral was held Saturday in Petawawa.

Tribute messages were posted on the website of Neville Funeral Home by people who say they knew Richmond.

One message says "Melissa was always like a little ray of sunshine.

"No matter what kind of day she was having, she would always try to see the good in everyone and everything," the message reads, adding "the world will definitely be a little darker without her."

Another message from someone who said she knew Melissa in high school described her as a kind and generous person.

"I remember in Grade 12, I was always forgetting to bring money to school for lunch. Melissa would usually buy me lunch if I was hungry, so I wouldn't have to sit and watch everyone else eat," the message reads. "She made me feel not so alone in our group of friends."

Howard Richmond reported his wife missing after she went for a late-night drive on July 24 and never returned.

Her vehicle, with the distinctive licence plate RPGGIRL, was recovered two days later in the parking lot of the shopping centre.

Her body was found in a nearby ravine.

Richmond did three tours with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

In an interview with the CBC before his arrest, Richmond said he's being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. He spoke about his wife as being "a rock."

Richmond said military tours could make him cynical.

"She sort of helped take the edge off that for me," he said in the interview.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 4, 2013 A6

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