Calgary man faces second-degree murder charge in death of woman found in park

CALGARY — Police say a 48-year-old Calgary man has been charged after a woman was found dead in a city park.

Officers were called to Deerfoot Athletic Park at about 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 16 for reports that a passerby had come across the burned body of Judy Maerz, who police have described as a 58-year-old mother.

Police say an autopsy has determined her death was a homicide.

They say detectives worked around the clock on the investigation and were able to identify a potential suspect.

Christopher Ward Dunlop has been charged with second-degree murder and indignity to a human body, and is to appear in court early next week.

Police say they don't believe Dunlop and Maerz knew each other before they met on the evening of Feb. 15.

"This was a very public and extremely disturbing murder," said Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson of the homicide unit.

"The victim, in this case, was targeted by someone unknown to her, and we recognize these types of cases have an enormous impact on the sense of safety for Calgarians."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press