Edmonton Police charge man with a historical attempted murder, sexual assault on a child

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The Edmonton Police arrested a man in connection with a historical attempted murder, sexual assault case on a child.

According to a statement released by Edmonton Police “Throughout the years, various investigators have resubmitted DNA from the complainant’s clothing as technology has advanced.”

The statement further added an article of clothing was resubmitted in 2020 for ‘touch’ DNA testing and a male DNA profile was successfully identified and resulted in a match with a profile in the DNA Data Bank Convicted Offender Index, leading to the identification of the suspect.

“This was the first time the suspect’s name had ever come up throughout our investigation,” explained Staff Sgt. James Vanderland, of the EPS Historical Crimes Section/Missing Persons Unit. “A team of investigators from Historical Crimes Section and Investigative Support Services pursued the investigation to gather additional evidence.”

The Edmonton Police also added on Friday June 18, Harold William Gairdner, 62, was arrested on charges of Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Aggravated Assault, Choke, strangle or suffocate to overcome resistance to commit an offence, Sexual Interference, and Abduction of a person under the age of 14.

Staff Sgt. Vanderland said “It’s a testament to the conviction of all of the investigators who have been involved in this case over the years. This terrible act of violence was committed against a vulnerable child in our community. The recent advancements made in DNA technology are providing hope for both police and victims of serious crimes like this one that justice can still be served…even many years later.”

Gairdner is currently remanded in custody. His next court appearance date is scheduled for June 24, the Edmonton Police said, adding that there is a ban on publication of any information that could identify the victim pursuant to s. 486.4 of the Criminal Code. Therefore, no other information or interviews can be provided at this time.

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