NEWS

Nancy Swenty's accused killer found in Alberta

09/15/2011 10:35 EDT | Updated 11/15/2011 05:12 EST

A Manitoba man accused of murder in the death of Nancy Swenty has been found near Canmore, Alta., RCMP say.

Russell Gordon McDiarmid, 51, of Fisher Branch, Man., was located at a campsite near Dead Man's Flat at about 7:15 p.m. MT on Thursday, Canmore RCMP stated in a release.

He was taken into custody without incident and will be escorted back to Manitoba, according to police.

McDiarmid is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Swenty, 33, whose body was found near Fisher Branch late last month.

Earlier on Thursday, police found a stolen vehicle that McDiarmid had been using.

The vehicle was found in a day-use area near the Trans-Canada Highway, about 15 kilometres east of Canmore.

Some people had reported seeing McDiarmid camping near Dead Man's Flat, a small hamlet east of Canmore, as early as Monday, Cpl. Darleen White told CBC News prior to his arrest.

Swenty, who was from Fisher Branch, was reported missing on July 28. Her car was found three days later and her body was recovered on Aug. 29 near Poplarfield, Man., about 25 kilometres from her home.

Police said McDiarmid had been brought in for questioning shortly after Swenty's disappearance, but he was not arrested at that time. RCMP said they had not been able to locate him since then.

"I'm glad they caught him," Gladys Swenty, Nancy's mother, said when CBC News informed her of McDiarmid's arrest.

She said it was "a little scary" when McDiarmid was on the lam because there were rumours and fears circulating around Fisher Branch that he might still be in the community.

When asked if she was hoping or praying McDiarmid would be caught, Swenty replied, "I don't pray. I stopped praying after my daughter went missing.

"I've been crying for the last 50 days," she said. "If there's one person who didn't deserve it, it was her [Nancy]."

MORE:cbcNews