For years, Vancouver resident Gurpreet Gill was a missing person whose family desperately searched for her.
Now she has been confirmed as a 2006 murder victim and her husband Jaswant Singh Gill has been charged with killing her.
Vancouver Police Sgt. Kevin McLaren said Monday that the mystery of Gurpreet's disappearance was solved when human remains found in Richmond about two weeks ago were confirmed as those of the missing woman.
McLaren said that police had few clues to go on after Gurpreet's relatives reported her missing in 2006 to Vancouver Police.
"As the missing person investigation proceeded, it became clear she had likely met with foul play," McLaren said. "For years, investigators looked for the evidence that would link a suspect to the murder. Recently, they found what they needed."
Jaswant Gill, 40, was arrested in Vancouver Saturday and charged Sunday. He was due to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court today on one count of second-degree murder.
McLaren said Gurpreet's family became worried seven years ago when they didn't hear from the 33-year-old for an extended period of time.
"Even though initially there were very few clues, our investigators never gave up. They believed they owed it to the family and the victim to stay on the case until it was solved," McLaren said.
"We know that there is nothing that will ever make up for the tragedy and loss the family has suffered. But we hope that today's announcement offers them some measure of comfort, as it has to the investigators who never gave up in their efforts to solve the mystery and seek justice for the victim."
Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Adam Palmer said the city's murder rate was at its lowest level in decades in 2012 with just nine slayings.
"Our priority is to reduce violence in our community and get those who commit it or pose the greatest threat off the streets and into jail," Palmer said. "We target killers."
He said that in more than half of the 2012 murders, charges have been laid and more are expected.
But he wouldn't comment on unsolved gang murders like the high-profile public execution of Sandip Duhre at the Vancouver Wall Centre in January 2012.
Palmer said that in 2011, Vancouver had 15 murders and had a 73 percent solve rate.
"We know that there is no single guaranteed tactic that can reduce violence or murder, and so we deploy as many tactics and programs that we can think of to get guns and killers off the streets," he said.
"The list of these programs is a long one, but they include on-going initiatives such as the Firearms Interdiction Team, Restaurant Watch, Bar Watch and the Lima program. All of these target gangsters, guns and alcohol."
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