Charges for Ronald James Edwards, who was arrested last week in relation to a murder that took place 47 years ago, is expected to see trial in the Town of Cochrane on Nov. 21.
The 73-year-old Sundre resident was arrested on Nov. 7 for the murder of 16-year-old Pauline Brazeau, a Métis, single mother from Saskatchewan who was the victim of a murder that took place on January 9, 1976.
Edwards was also given a 10-year sentence in 1989, after he sexually assaulted and attacked an 18-year-old woman.
In a court hearing on Nov. 14, it was decided that the Edwards’ case would be moved from the Alberta Justice Courts in Calgary to the Cochrane Alberta Courts of Justice on Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m.
In attendance for the decision was Deborah Poitras, a relative to Brazeau. She was 14 when her cousin was murdered, and outlined it had a deep impact on her family members at the time.
Upon hearing about the recent developments in the case leading to Edwards’ arrest, Poitras said she was shocked to hear about the progress that was made over four decades later.
“I was shocked because it happened so many years ago,” she said. “Nearly 47 years ago is a long time to not know anything. I just put it on my shoulder that they’ll never find the person.
“And to know that this person is still alive, is even shocking. I think everyone in my family that was related to her was really shocked about this.”
As a Métis woman, she feels that there are many like her who feel vulnerable. She hopes that Brazeau can hear their prayers and hopes that she’s resting in peace.
“[For] us who are alive, it’s heartbreaking really,” Poitras said. “To know that your relative died in such a tragic murder.”
With many cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children taking place across Canada, Poitras said Brazeau’s case can serve as an example of providing some relief to families who lost loved ones in similar circumstances using DNA evidence.
The charges against Ronald James Edwards have yet to be proven in court.