PORT ALBERNI, B.C. - Police have charged a man with first-degree murder in the death of a woman nine years after her body was found inside her home in Port Alberni, B.C.

RCMP say Larry Darling, 51, was arrested in Surrey.

Relatives of 28-year-old Kristy Morrey attended a news conference on Monday where the charge was announced.

“For nine years, investigators across Vancouver Island, with support from E Division Serious Crime Unit, have worked tirelessly to determine what happened and who was responsible for Kristy's death,” said Insp. Chuck McDonald, who heads the E Division unit.

He said Darling, who was taken into custody Friday, knew Morrey and had lived in Port Alberni.

Morrey was discovered dead in her Port Alberni home on Aug. 20, 2006, and police initially believed she died of natural causes.

A year later they announced the case was a homicide, although the cause of death has never been revealed.

Morrey's cousin Jaclyn, who did not wish to give her last name, said Morrey loved the outdoors, went fishing rain or shine and had great compassion for animals, “especially cats as she had five of them.”

“As a young woman, she had many hopes and dreams. She talked about travelling, marriage and starting a family,” Jaclyn said.

“She cherished her friendships and above all she loved her family and was never afraid to show this,” she added. “Her mom Shirley misses everything about Kristy as she is the part of her heart and soul that is missing.”

Investigators always believed someone in the Vancouver Island city had information that could crack the case.

In the years after the murder, police also said they were confident that advances in forensic technology could eventually lead to charges.

Darling is scheduled to make a court appearance Wednesday in Port Alberni.