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Murder charge laid after body found near Vancouver Island rest stop in 2017

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More than six years after the body of a 72-year-old man was discovered near a highway rest stop on southern Vancouver Island, a Victoria man is facing charges of first-degree murder and indignity to human remains

Investigators believe Joseph "Bob" Gelineau killed Richard "Blair" Young, who went missing from Victoria in 2017.

Gelineau, who was born in 1953, was arrested Wednesday and remains in police custody pending a scheduled court appearance on April 3.

Young's family had not heard from him for over a week when he was reported missing to police on Feb. 14, 2017.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit led the search for Young until March 2 of that year, when his body was discovered near the Arbutus rest stop on the Malahat highway.

Police have not indicated how Young died or if the two men knew each other.

"Further details about this investigation cannot be shared at this time as the matter is now before the courts," the Victoria Police Department said in a statement Wednesday evening.

In March 2019, investigators released video footage of the murder victim leaving his Victoria apartment on Feb. 8, 2017. In the video, Young is seen walking out of the North Park Manor seniors home wearing a light jacket despite the sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall outside.

"This leads investigators to believe that he did not expect to be spending time outdoors and he did not expect to be gone long," Insp. David Hall, the Island District RCMP's senior investigating officer, said at the time.

Human remains were found near the Arbutus rest stop on the Malahat highway on March 2, 2017. (CTV Vancouver Island)

By 2019, police had identified a number of persons of interest in the case. Investigators said Young did not have any apparent connection to criminality, but they didn't believe his murder was a "purely random act" either, they said.

Police also determined Young's bank and credit cards were charged more than $30,000 in fraudulent transactions on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, according to investigators.

Young served as a director on the board of his seniors residence. Fellow resident David Crane told CTV News on Thursday he was Young's neighbour for three years and remembers him as "a gem, one of the finest."

"Always there when you needed him," Crane added.

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