A 59-year-old man who is a person of interest in the 2017 murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang has been arrested on an unrelated charge.
In August 2019, police asked the public to help them find Steven Bacon, who they believed had important information about Chang's death.
The 16-year-old went missing on March 17, 2017, in Nanaimo, B.C. She was reported missing five days later and her body was found in May 2017 after an exhaustive search.
Nanaimo RCMP confirmed Friday that Bacon is in custody but said the arrest was not related in any way to the murder investigation.
"We cannot speak to the charge, when he was arrested or where he is being incarcerated," Const. Gary O'Brien, a spokesperson with the Nanaimo RCMP, said in an email.
The RCMP declined an interview and said the investigation into Chang's murder is still active.
Chang was a student at John Barsby Secondary School in Nanaimo.
After finding her body in May 2017, police said the case was considered a homicide investigation.
Police had spoken to Bacon as early as May 2017 in Sudbury, Ont. At the time, they said Bacon was not a suspect but that Chang may have been with him.
In August 2019, police said they wanted to speak again to Bacon about Chang's death but weren't able to find him.
In a Facebook post Friday, Chang's father, Kerry Chang, said he was aware of the arrest and expressed hope that Makayla's death would be solved.
On Sunday, January 5, he spoke with media in Nanaimo and said he was thankful for the tips people provided in helping police locate Bacon. He said the family wants closure around his daughter's death.
"She's been murdered, there's a lot of answered questions still and I guess that's what we're all searching for is the answers," he said.