Mounties involved with Cusworth cold case investigation honoured

Kelowna Mounties who were able to close a high profile cold case were honoured for their work earlier this week.

Const. Rob Cormier, Staff-Sgt. Dean Filipchuck, Const. Maro Kennedy, Sgt. Ian MacPherson and Cpl. Bill Parmar received the Commanding Officer's Certificate of Appreciation at a ceremony held in Vernon, for solving the 1993 killing of Jennifer Cusworth.

"In May, 2008, a dedicated team was created to review the history of the investigation, identify areas of further review and develop and implement a new investigational strategy," said MC Staff-Sgt. Don Smawley prior to the presentation.

"The investigators focused on 20 men who had attended the original party and with the advancement of technology an unknown DNA profile was identified from exhibits originally seized at the time of the murder. Investigators now strongly suspected one particular individual, and when officers approached him and requested he provide a DNA sample, he inadvertently disclosed information known only to the police and the person responsible for the murder."

Further information obtained through covert means resulted in the arrest of the suspect, Neil George Snelson on Oct. 23,2009 for first degree murder.

"The team's determined investigation skills were instrumental in seeking a framework for a successful conclusion to this investigation," said Smawley.

"Their dedication to duty lends credit to them as keeping with the highest tradition of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police."

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