A former Swift Current resident and a convicted killer is facing charges once again, for the murder of another woman.
The Calgary Police Service have charged 48-year-old Christopher Ward Dunlop with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body in the death of Calgary resident, Judy Maerz.
The remains of Maerz were found burned on February 16, in Deerfoot Athletic Park in Calgary.
Homicide detectives worked tirelessly to collect forensic evidence, interview witnesses and review CCTV footage from the area. Based on this, investigators were able to identify a potential suspect.
At this time, police do not believe that Dunlop and Maerz knew each other, only meeting on the night of February 15.
It is believed that the victim was picked up by the accused, where she was driven to the park and killed.
Police stated that the woman's body was set on fire after she was killed in what officers believe was an attempt to cover up the crime.
“This was a very public and extremely disturbing murder,” Staff Sergeant Sean Gregson of the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit stated. “The victim, in this case, was targeted by someone unknown to her, and we recognize these types of cases have an enormous impact on the sense of safety for Calgarians,” Staff Sergeant Sean Gregson of the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit stated.
“Over the past two weeks, our investigators worked tirelessly to identify the suspect and secure key evidence, which led to these charges.”
Anyone who has information about this incident and has yet to speak to investigators is asked to contact the police by calling 403-266-1234.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or visiting www.calgarycrimestoppers.org
Dunlop had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the 2009 death of Laura Furlan. He only recently finished serving a 12-year sentence.
Furlan had been strangled and left naked in Fish Cree Park, in Calgary, concealed under some bushes.
Her badly decomposed body was discovered two weeks later by a man walking his dog.
Dunlop was arrested and charged with the murder of Furlan and committing an indignity to a human body in 2012. He was initially charged with first-degree murder, however, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2015.
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and given credit for 6.5 years served for manslaughter and committing an indignity to a human body.
During the court proceedings for the murder of Furlan, it was revealed that on the same day that Furlan’s life was taken, Dunlop made some disturbing internet searches.
The topics of his searches included ‘fingerprints on dead bodies,’ ‘latent fingerprints on human skin,’ ‘rates of decomposition,’ ‘methods to dispose of bodies using fire,’ ‘methods to dispose of a human body by burial,’ and ‘DNA testing for semen.’
Police gathered this information after searching Dunlop’s work computer in 2009.
Ultimately, the victim was taken to an isolated location and killed by Dunlop, who then drove around with her body in his truck for two hours before concealing it in the park behind a berm in tall grass.
Dunlop’s most recent court appearance was on March 6.