Suspect arrested in Natasha Cournoyer homicide

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MONTREAL – Montreal police have arrested a suspect in connection with the death of Natasha Cournoyer, 37.

The man, who was arrested at 11 p.m. Thursday, is to be charged with first-degree murder this afternoon at the Montreal courthouse.

The suspect is Claude Larouche, 47. He has a criminal record and was unknown to Cournoyer at the time of the attack.

He got 40 months in June 2005, for trying to kidnap a 7-year-old girl in the city’s Mercier district.

At the time, Quebec Court Judge Robert Sansfaçon called his behaviour “extremely worrisome.”

Larouche’s upstairs neighbour says he lived with his wife and her two teenage sons.

“We only knew him to say hello,” she said. “He seemed nice, so we find it very strange (that he’s been arrested).”

Cournoyer’s body was discovered in eastend Montreal Oct. 6, five days after she was seen leaving work at the Correctional Service of Canada office building in Laval.

Cournoyer, who worked in the CSC’s communications division as an internal communications officer, was last seen alive Oct. 1, her image caught by a surveillance camera as she headed for her car in a nearby parking lot.

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