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Possible suspect ruled out in Sweeney case

BY KEITH LACEY klacey@northernlife.ca A young man facing murder charges in Ottawa has been ruled out as a suspect in the murder of a Laurentian University student eight years ago.
BY KEITH LACEY

A young man facing murder charges in Ottawa has been ruled out as a suspect in the murder of a Laurentian University student eight years ago.

Last week, Ottawa police arrested Chris Myers, 25, in relation to the murder of Ardeth Wood, a 27-year-old University of Waterloo PhD student. Wood, who was visiting family and friends in August 2003, disappeared while riding her bike on a wooded trail.

Myers was in custody in the North Bay Jail when he was charged with first-degree murder in Wood?s death. Myers has also been charged with five counts of sexual assault, including four in the Ottawa area and one in North Bay.

Greater Sudbury Police had contacted Ottawa police in relation to the murder of Renee Sweeney eight years ago, but have ruled out Myers as a suspect, said Staff Sgt. David Treitz.

?It has been determined where Myers was in 1998 and we?ve determined with 100 percent certainty that he wasn?t in the Sudbury area at that time,? said Treitz.

A small group of investigators from the local police service have never stopped working on the Sweeney case and the recent publicity resulted in about 10 new tips being called in, including several from outside Greater Sudbury, said Treitz.

The investigative team will follow up on those new leads and ?see where we are and determine if there are new areas we can look at? in trying to find the lone, single male responsible for the brutal attack, he said.

Sweeney was stabbed while working alone at a video store on Paris Street on Jan. 27, 1998.

Several witnesses saw a lone male near the crime scene and Sudbury police recovered a green teal jacket and other clothing. DNA was also recovered from underneath Sweeney?s fingernails.

The DNA evidence has been forwarded to the Centre for Forensic Sciences.

Since Sweeney?s death, Sudbury police have talked to and eliminated more than 1,200 male suspects.

Anyone with information about the Sweeney investigation is asked to phone police at 675-9171 or Sudbury Rainbow Crime Stoppers at 675-8477.