B.C. RCMP announce charges in 1993 homicide of 23-year-old Vicki Black

VANCOUVER — The RCMP in British Columbia say a man is in custody and facing a murder charge in the homicide of a 23-year-old woman in Vancouver in 1993.

The Mounties announced in a news release Friday that Stephen Laroche has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Vicki Black.

They say a Vancouver police review led to the file being transferred to the provincial unsolved homicide unit.

Vancouver police had already identified a suspect and the unsolved homicide unit worked to gather enough evidence to support a charge.

As a result, the new release says Laroche was arrested in Oakville, Ont., with the help of Hamilton police, and appeared in a Vancouver courtroom on Friday morning.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 2.

Black's family says in a statement that she was a loving daughter, sister, mother and friend.

"Her family wish to thank the members of the provincial unsolved homicide unit and all those involved in the investigation that has led to this arrest."

Chief Supt. Manny Mann, officer in charge of the RCMP's major crime section, says he's pleased the Mounties were able to announce charges 26 years after Black's death.

"No matter how many years pass by, police are committed to ensuring justice for victims of homicide," he says.

It's important that those accused of serious criminal acts be held accountable, regardless of how long it takes, added Supt. Cita Airth of the Vancouver police.

"It is our hope that today's charges will bring some semblance of closure to Vicki's family and friends."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2019.

The Canadian Press