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20050920: Murder of Ottawa teen raises spectre of serial killer Ottawa Serial Killer News
The case of a missing Ottawa teen is now a murder investigation, sparking fears by some that a serial killer may be on the loose.

Police confirmed Monday that a body found near a hiking trail, just steps from a frequently used parking lot, is that of 18-year-old Jennifer Teague who disappeared on her way home from work Sept. 8. The body was partly covered in tree branches when it was found Sunday about five kilometres from the west-end restaurant where Teague was last seen after working the late shift.

Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that a serial killer is responsible, but they said it doesn't immediately appear that the case is related to that of another murdered Ottawa woman.

The body of Ardeth Wood, 27, was discovered more than two years ago near a path in the city's east end and police have yet to find her killer.

"At this point, I must stress that the two investigations do not appear to be related," said a sombre Staff-Sgt. Monique Ackland at a roadside news conference near where the body was discovered.

But that didn't ease everyone's fears. At least one radio talk show host and many residents raised concerns about a link to Wood and fears of a serial killer.

The cause of death was not immediately known and police would not reveal whether Teague had been sexually assaulted, nor whether she was fully clothed when discovered.

"It will take . . . extensive forensic testing to obtain more information," said Ackland. "That could take weeks."

The identification was done through dental records.

As many as 65 police officers continued searching area roadways and the swamp near where Teague's body was found as separate investigative teams probed her death.

Everyone from forensics specialists to crime lab personnel and beat cops have been called in to help with the probe.

As a small aircraft guided them from above, van loads of police searchers could be seen Monday heading into a marsh that makes up part of the Stoney Swamp Conservation Area, about 500 metres from the trail where the odour of a decomposing body led an off-duty police officer to Teague.

The Teague family, after being informed of the positive identification of the teenager, asked police to relay their wishes for privacy to the media, said Ackland.

"They are going through very hard times and our hearts go out to them. Please leave the family alone."

A group of teens huddled outside Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternative School on Monday holding newspapers containing stories about their classmate.

Teague was described by school co-ordinator Gerry Cuppage as a student activist who led an award-winning environmental campaign in the Ottawa area.

Public school board chair Lynn Graham issued a statement reading:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our student Jennifer Teague and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, relatives and the entire school community at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternative School. Counsellors are being made available to help students at the school cope with this tragic loss."

The board's Tragic Events Response Team was to arrive Tuesday.

"Our support people are not intrusive. That's part of the work that they do," said board spokeswoman Maggie Melenhorst. "They are there if students need them. Otherwise the school does try to maintain some semblance of normalcy."

Teague disappeared shortly after heading home late at night from the Wendy's restaurant where she worked.

Wendy's Canada has a policy that forbids employees from leaving their place of work alone, said a spokeswoman. But unlike some other fast food chains, it does not ensure employees are driven home in taxis or picked up by parents.

The fast food chain is reviewing that policy.

"We are now in the process of reviewing our policies and procedures," said Sharon Reid, who added that the corporation closely guards many details of its policies to protect employee safety.

 

20050919: Serial killer at work? Ottawa Serial Killer News

Is there a serial killer loose in the capital?

Tough to say, but residents across the city are certainly asking that question given the grisly find believed to be that of missing Barrhaven teen Jennifer Teague.

Two years, one month and two days after 27-year-old Ardeth Wood disappeared and turned up dead along an east-end NCC trail, both cases have turned up few leads for police.

Criminal profilers have suggested such cases have the markings of a serial killer, but add they're also hard to solve.

Minneapolis-based profiler Pat Brown told the Sun last week Teague could have fallen into the hands of a serial killer who either zeroed in on her and waited for an opportunity to grab her or simply staked out a dark and deserted street, hoping a victim would walk by.

LIARS, MANIPULATORS

Brown said most serial killers kill within a mile of where they live or work and are often pathological liars, manipulators and narcissists with grandiose ideas who have trouble keeping a job or a relationship.

They'll likely kill within an hour of abducting, while most sexual homicides are never solved or are cracked by the killers' bad luck, Brown said.

The investigation into Jennifer's disappearance has included a check of recent parolees, sex offenders and criminals living in Barrhaven, but the one high-risk offender currently being monitored doesn't fit the profile of a kidnapper.

 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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