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The Globe and Mail

Canadian soldier charged with first-degree murder in wife's death

Melissa Kelly Richmond, 28, was found dead in Ottawa this week.

Police say a Canadian soldier has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife.

Fifty-year-old Howard Richmond appeared in an Ottawa court on Saturday morning.

Police detained and questioned the warrant officer on Friday.

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The body of Richmond's wife, Melissa Kelly Richmond, 28, was found near a suburban Ottawa shopping centre this week.

The cause of death has not been released but media reports indicate she was stabbed several times.

CFRA radio is reporting Richmond will appear in court again on Tuesday on the allegation he's been charged with.

His wife's funeral was to be held Saturday in Petawawa.

Tribute messages were posted on the website of Neville Funeral Home by people who say they knew Richmond.

One message says that "Melissa was always a like a little ray of sunshine."

"No matter what kind of day she was having she would always try to see the good in everyone and everything," the message reads, adding "the world will definitely be a little darker without her."

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Another message from someone who says she knew Melissa in high school describes her as a kind and generous person.

"I remember in grade 12, I was always forgetting to bring money to school for lunch. Melissa would usually buy me lunch if I was hungry, so I wouldn't have to sit and watch everyone else eat," the message reads. "She made me feel not so alone in our group of friends."

Howard Richmond reported his wife missing after she went for a late-night drive on July 24 and never returned.

Her vehicle, with the distinctive license plate RPGGIRL, was recovered two days later in the parking lot of the shopping centre.

Her body was found in a nearby ravine.

Richmond did three tours with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

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In an interview with the CBC before his arrest, Richmond said he's being treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He spoke about his wife as being "a rock."

Richmond said military tours could make him cynical.

"She sort of helped take the edge off that for me," he said in the interview.

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