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Woman charged with murder, indignity to remains of missing Nanaimo man

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Police say a 26-year-old woman has been charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains after a missing Nanaimo, B.C., man was found dead last year.

The charges stem from a two-year investigation into the disappearance and death of 33-year-old Sidney Mantee.

Mantee was first reported missing in October 2020. In late May 2021, Mounties were seen searching his apartment building and a local lake.

At the time, police would not confirm that the searches were part of the investigation into Mantee, though they did say that the activity was linked to a missing person that was believed to be the victim of foul play.

During those searches, neighbours told CTV News that police were asking them about Mantee.

Neighbours also said that he lived with a woman in the apartment, and that it was common to hear screaming arguments coming from the unit.

"The screaming was like death defying screams, you know?" said one neighbour. "It wasn't just like, get out of here screams. Someone was [angry] about something."

In May, police were not saying if the woman was a suspect, and added that there were details they were keeping under wraps to "preserve the integrity of the investigation."

In July 2021, Nanaimo RCMP did announce that the investigation into Mantee had changed from a missing person case to a homicide investigation.

Now, Mounties say that the B.C. Prosecution Service approved charges against Paris Laroche on Wednesday.

She was arrested the same day and was expected to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Thursday.

"The investigation required significant time and police resources," said the Nanaimo RCMP in a statement Thursday.

"In the weeks and months following Mantee’s disappearance, investigators exhaustively searched several locations, and followed up on dozens of tips in order to gather evidence related to the homicide," said the detachment.

Police say that no further information will be released since the matter is now before the courts.

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