The RCMP has confirmed that human remains discovered in Saint John in 2012 are those of Cheryl Pyne, of Moncton – sixteen years after her disappearance.
The 27-year-old woman was reported missing to the Codiac Regional RCMP in August 2004. It was later determined she had been the victim of a homicide. Despite exhaustive investigative efforts over the years, her body was never located. In 2009, David Joseph Ouellette was convicted of manslaughter in her death and sentenced to life in prison.
Recently, as part of the ongoing efforts to locate Cheryl Pyne’s body, the New Brunswick RCMP turned to a new national DNA-matching program.
In November 2020, the Major Crime Unit requested a DNA sample from one of Cheryl Pyne’s family members. The sample was submitted to the National Missing Persons DNA Program, which was launched by the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains in 2018. The familial DNA was a positive match with unidentified remains discovered in Saint John in 2012. This is the first time this program has been successfully used by the New Brunswick RCMP.
Tragically, Cheryl Pyne’s mother, 45-year-old Kathryn Pyne-Welner, of Moncton, was also the victim of a homicide in 2005, which has never been solved. Police continue to seek information about her death.
“They were women who poured their heart and soul into their family, and friends who became their family,” the families of Cheryl Pyne and Kathryn Pyne-Welner said in a prepared statement. “They both were somebody’s sister, mother, daughter – they were human beings and had the right to be treated as such.”
The full statement from the families can be viewed here.
“No file is ever closed until it is solved,” says Cst. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP. “We realize this has been a very difficult process for Cheryl’s family, with many long years of waiting and wondering. We’re grateful that Cheryl has finally been located after all this time, and we hope the identification of her remains may lead to new information coming forward about her mother’s death.”
Police are asking anyone who has information about Kathryn Pyne-Welner’s death to contact the Major Crime Unit at 1-888-506-RCMP (7267). Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by downloading the secure P3 Mobile App, or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca.
The New Brunswick RCMP would like to thank the families of Cheryl Pyne and Kathryn Pyne-Welner, as well as the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, the Government of New Brunswick’s Coroner’s Services, and the Saint John Police Force.