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Man arrested in connection with slaying of 16-year-old B.C. girl

Matilda Fowler weeps during a news conference in Vancouver on Dec. 12, 2012, next to a photo of her daughter, Summer ‘CJ’ Morningstar Fowler, of the Gitanmaax First Nation near Hazelton, B.C.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Charges have been laid in connection with the slaying of a 16-year-old B.C. girl whose body was discovered in a ravine one year ago.

Summer Star Elizabeth Krista-Lee Fowler — also known as C.J. — was found dead in Kamloops on December 2012, though Mounties never revealed how the teen was killed.

RCMP announced on Sunday that investigators arrested 22-year-old Damien Taylor in Kelowna on Friday, one day after an arrest warrant was issued.

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Supt. Brad Mueller said Taylor and Fowler were both from the Terrace area, and that they had travelled to Kamloops together to visit friends.

"Mr. Taylor and Ms. Fowler were known to each other and were considered to be in a dating relationship," Mueller said at a news conference.

Police said Fowler, a member of the Gitanmaax First Nation, was last seen leaving a local hospital in the early morning on Dec. 5, 2012, and walking down a street to catch a bus back to Terrace.

Her body was found hours later near Guerin Creek.

Fowler's parents appeared at Sunday's news conference, expressing relief and thanking police for their work.

"We both actually wanted to just thank God also, because we prayed day and night —before we went to bed, before we got up in the morning," said Fowler's father John Wilson.

"Our prayers and thoughts have been answered."

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Mueller said investigators worked tirelessly over the past year on the case.

"It is often difficult for the community to understand, let alone reconcile, how such inhumanity can be unleashed," he said.

"I'd be lying if I said that those same feelings of disbelief, shock and grief did not impact those police officers working on this case who committed so much of their time and efforts the last 13 months in pursuit of the truth of what happened to C.J."

Taylor is expected to appear in Kamloops Provincial Court on Monday on the charge he faces.

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