Dartmouth man charged in woman’s suspicious disappearance
Halifax Regional Police said 44-year-old Owen Patrick Nelson was charged in the disappearance of 40-year-old Karen MacKenzie of Dartmouth.
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Police believe a Dartmouth woman who disappeared last month is dead, and they’ve charged a man with assault and interfering with human remains.
In a news release on Wednesday night, Halifax Regional Police said 44-year-old Owen Patrick Nelson was charged in the disappearance of 40-year-old Karen MacKenzie of Dartmouth.
MacKenzie was last seen on Feb. 25 at 95 Highfield Park Dr. in Dartmouth, and last week, police said they were treating her death as suspicious.
Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman Const. Carol McIsaac said in an interview Wednesday night they now believe MacKenzie is dead.
“Karen hasn’t been located but we believe she is deceased,” she said.
McIsaac wouldn’t say why no murder or manslaughter charge has been laid in the case, saying only that the charges match the evidence collected to date.
She wouldn’t rule out more charges against the accused as officers continue to investigate.
“The goal is to find Karen,” McIssac said. “Investigators do believe Owen Patrick Nelson had involvement in her disappearance.”
Police said they arrested Nelson on Tuesday afternoon at about 4:40 p.m. in Highfield Park, but earlier in the day Wednesday, all they would say was a man was being questioned.
In a Facebook post the day MacKenzie was reported missing to police, Owen Nelson posted photos of her with the caption, “Has anyone seen Karen Mackenzie in the past week? Last seen Monday evening. Would be wearing the green jacket in the picture and a green backpack.”
In the comments, he told someone she was his fiancé.
The next day, he posted a video of a dog with a woman’s voice in the background with the caption, “I miss your laugh babe. I hope that you are finally happy wherever you are.”
Nelson is due in court in Dartmouth on Thursday morning, to face charges of interfering with human remains, assault and two courts of breach of probation.
The charge of interfering with human remains means Nelson is accused of “improperly or indecently” interfering with or offering “indignity to a dead human body or human remains.” It often means a body was moved or burned after death.
The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
McIsaac wouldn’t say if there are any more suspects in the case, or if they believe MacKenzie died at the apartment where she was last seen.