Calgary police credit forensic advances for cold case sex assault charges

·2 min read

CALGARY — Police in Calgary have made an arrest in two sexual assaults that occurred nearly 40 years ago.

Investigators have charged Patrick Zamora, who is 64 and from Calgary, in the early morning attacks near the Foothills Medical Centre in 1981.

On June 16 of that year, a nursing student was returning to her residence at the medical centre when she was attacked and sexually assaulted.

Two weeks later, a lab technician was assaulted when she was returning to her vehicle after leaving a building on the medical centre campus.

"These offences were investigated extensively in 1981 by detectives in the sex crimes unit with no offender identified in relation to the attacks," Staff Sgt. Michelle Doyle said Tuesday.

"These cases highlight that dedicated investigative work coupled with technological advances can result in new information, leading to charges."

Zamora is charged under Criminal Code statutes from the time that include rape, and choking and rape.

He is to appear in court on April 1.

It's the second cold case arrest made in Calgary this month. Police have credited advances in forensics in both.

A 28-year-old Edmonton man appeared in court Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder in the August 2007 death of Tara-Anne Landgraf.

He was 16 at the time of the attack and cannot be identified.

Landraf was 37 when her body was discovered. An autopsy determined she died from stab wounds and was also sexually assaulted in what appeared to be a random attack.

A male DNA profile was identified from forensic evidence collected at the time, but no match was made.

Investigators took a fresh look at the case in 2019 and worked with forensic specialists, who were able to identify a suspect last September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2021.

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Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press