Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

DNA may ID killer of Manitoba woman

Pregnant victim, 27, stabbed, left to die in Quebec in 2006

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It has been seven years since Kelly Morrisseau was repeatedly stabbed and left to die in a Quebec parking lot.

The 27-year-old Manitoba woman was seven months pregnant at the time.

Now the key to unlocking the murder mystery may rest in a Montreal forensic lab, where investigators hope ongoing DNA testing will point them to the killer.

Gatineau police announced this week Marc Leduc -- already accused in two Ontario slayings -- has been identified as a "person of interest" in Morrisseau's December 2006 death.

A sample of Leduc's DNA is currently being analyzed. It will be compared to blood and other forensic evidence found at the scene and in a nearby Tim Hortons bathroom. Unlike in television or the movies, it's an excruciatingly slow process. But test results are expected as early as next month.

Police have remained in touch with Morrisseau's family in Manitoba and Ontario to give them frequent updates about their investigation.

"It's like putting your heart on hold," her cousin, Roxanne Morrisseau, previously told the Free Press about the long wait for justice. "The investigation seems to be going nowhere."

Morrisseau was born on Sagkeeng First Nation but spent much of her life in Winnipeg. She had moved to Ottawa only a few months prior to her death because of safety concerns about gangs and violence in Manitoba. She was the mother of three young children, with her fourth on the way.

Family and friends say Morrisseau had fallen into difficult times, which included drug addiction and depression. Police have also linked her to the sex trade and believe that made her a vulnerable target for her killer.

A man walking his dog near the entrance of a Gatineau park found Morrisseau's naked body on the morning of Dec. 10, 2006. Her clothes were scattered nearby. She had been stabbed at least a dozen times.

Morrisseau was rushed to hospital in grave condition. She was pronounced dead later that day, as was her unborn child. Morrisseau had last been seen about six hours earlier leaving her mother's apartment in nearby Ottawa.

Morrisseau is buried in Sagkeeng behind the community's church, her grave marked with a simple wooden cross.

Police began to view Leduc, 56, as a potential suspect in Morrisseau's slaying after he was arrested last February following an extensive investigation into two other unsolved slayings that relied heavily on DNA analysis.

Pamela Kosmack, 39, died in June 2008, and Leanne Lawson, 23, was killed in September 2011. Both women were tied to Ottawa's sex trade.

He now faces two counts of first-degree murder. Leduc is also accused of a 2012 sexual assault in Ottawa. It was that arrest that led to the DNA link to the unsolved homicides.

The Morrisseau family are no strangers to tragedy.

Fifteen years before Morrisseau's death, her aunt was slain in Winnipeg. Glenda Morrisseau was 19 when she disappeared on July 17, 1991. Her body was found Aug. 7, 1991, in a St. Boniface industrial area. She was nude from the waist down, had been severely beaten, and had broken cheekbones, a broken jaw and broken eye sockets. It's believed she was hit in the head repeatedly with a blunt object.

Winnipeg police investigated but got nowhere. Nobody has ever been arrested and the case is still open.


-- with files from Mia Rabson

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2013 A8

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