Suspect in murder of Nancy Swenty arrested in Alberta
Published Friday, September 16, 2011 5:57PM CST
The suspect wanted on a Canada-wide warrant in connection with the murder of a Fisher Branch woman was arrested in Alberta.
Russell McDiarmid, 51, was found by Alberta RCMP at a campsite close to Canmore Thursday night.
Nancy Swenty, 33, was reported missing at the end of July and her body was later found near Poplarfield.
Police said McDiarmid was taken into custody without incident on Sept. 15.
"He had a campsite set up. It wasn't in a recognized camping area. It was more in the woods away from travelled areas," said Cpl. Miles Hiebert of the RCMP.
A warrant was issued for McDiarmid's arrest after he disappeared about two weeks ago.
He is said to have left a gun, ammunition and a note for a friend at an abandoned spot in Fraserwood. In the note, McDiarmid said he was innocent but wasn't going to stick around and was taking his shotgun and leaving town.
When McDiarmid disappeared, police said he may be driving a stolen truck. Thursday morning, that truck was spotted near a campground in Alberta. The RCMP emergency team was called in. Hours later, McDiarmid was in custody.
Police believe he may have been in the area for a few days, with one unconfirmed sighting reported on Sept. 12.
The news of McDiarmid's arrest comes as a relief to Tina Beck. Nancy Swenty was her best friend. McDiarmid was Beck's on-again-off-again boyfriend and the father of her four-year-old daughter.
Beck said McDiarmid was verbally abusive to her throughout their five-year relationship. One night, they had a fight and she threw him out of her home. Before he left, McDiarmid told her she'd be sorry, said Beck.
"In a way, I regret kicking him out (because) I figure if I didn't, maybe this wouldn't have happened, said Beck.
McDiarmid has been brought back to Winnipeg to face a charge for second-degree murder.
Swenty's mother said she's also relieved the suspect was arrested, but she still has many unanswered questions.
Police are remaining tight-lipped about the details surrounding Swenty's death until the case goes to court.
- with a report from CTV's Caroline Barghout