Body of missing Chipman man found, case deemed a homicide

The body of a Chipman man, who was missing for more than two months, has been discovered and police are now investigating his death as a homicide.

Brandon Donelan, 27, was reported missing on Jan. 30 and was last seen during the evening hours of Jan. 27 in Redbank, just outside Chipman, near the intersection of Parkhill Road and Red Bank Drive.

His body was located by RCMP in a wooded area off a snowmobile trail between Minto and Chipman on March 31, around 7 p.m., according to a news release issued Tuesday.

“As part of the ongoing investigation, police executed a search warrant at a residence on Wasson Road in Newcastle Creek,” near Minto on Monday, the release from spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouellette said.

“A woman was arrested at the scene on an unrelated matter and was later released pending a future court appearance.”

Police remain in the area as they continue their investigation, Ouellette said.

Members of the West District RCMP, forensic identification services, police dog services and the New Brunswick coroner’s office assisted with the recovery of the body.

In 2017, Donelan was sentenced to 42 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and sexual interference involving a minor.

According to facts presented in court, in August 2015, Donelan, who was 20 at the time, showed up at a party with liquor and cocaine and had unprotected sex with an intoxicated 13-year-old.

Donelan denied having sex with the victim when first questioned by police, but a sexual assault kit proved he had.

After pleading guilty, Donelan failed to appear on his original sentencing date and a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest. He turned himself in seven months later.

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