A 37-year-old Kitchener man faces charges of first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a human body in connection with the death of Kelsey Louise Felker, whose torso was found in a city dumpster on the weekend.
Stephen Johnson was arrested at a motel on the east side of the city just before 4 a.m. and was awaiting a court appearance Thursday afternoon where he was to be formally charged.
Mr. Johnson and Ms. Felker, 24, are believed to have known each other and no further arrests are anticipated, Waterloo Regional Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel said.
Ms. Felker’s remains were discovered Saturday behind a high-rise apartment building on Kitchener’s Frederick Street.
Only her torso was found, clad in a distinctive black -shirt. No other body parts are believed to have been recovered.
Those who knew Ms. Felker have described her as a kind, caring person who struggled with a long-time drug problem and had had several run-ins with the law.
Ms. Felker’s death prompted a wave of grief and condolences on Facebook.
Her former lawyer, Brennan Smart, said that in his six years of representing her, his client was always pleasant to deal with.
But her persistent struggle with crack cocaine had dogged her for years and despite numerous attempts at intervention, she seemed unable to stay sober, Mr. Smart said.
When her torso was discovered Saturday, by a person rooting through a garbage container behind the high-rise building, it was dressed in a black T-shirt bearing the words “Forget princess I want to be a vampire,” in what appeared to be a reference to the movie Twilight.
Police said tips alluding to the distinctive T-shirt were key to identifying Ms. Felker, who had not been listed as missing before Saturday’s gruesome discovery.
The quick arrest Thursday came after dozens of police officers took a role in the investigation, Kitchener’s first homicide this year.
“Our investigators have worked very hard on this,“ Mr. Heinzel said.
“As well, the community has been very supportive and has provided information that has helped the investigation, particularly with the identification of the victim.”
Several other instances of dismembered bodies have made headlines in the past year, including the case of accused killer Luka Rocco Magnotta, arrested in Berlin last summer after body parts belonging to a Montreal university student were mailed to addresses in Ottawa and British Columbia.