After more than three decades of uncertainty, the Prince Edward Island community is finally getting closure in the tragic murder case in Canada of Byron Howard Carr. Charlottetown Police Chief Brad MacConnell announced a breakthrough in the investigation revealing that Todd Joseph Gallant, 56, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and interfering with human remains. The arrest comes as a result of advancements in genetic genealogy shedding light on a dark chapter in the province’s history.
Long-Awaited Answers and Gratitude
Byron Carr’s family and the entire island community have endured over 35 years of uncertainty surrounding his murder. Chief MacConnell expressed gratitude to the Carr family for their patience and support during the lengthy investigation. The arrest of Gallant brings relief to the family especially for Byron’s brother, John Carr, who acknowledged the significance of pursuing justice for his late brother.
The cold case dates back to November 11, 1988, when the former teacher was found strangled and stabbed to death. The revelation that Byron was a gay man came to light only after his tragic death during a time when members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community faced challenges in social acceptance. The crime scene’s chilling note, “I WILL KILL AGAIN,” added an eerie dimension to the investigation.
The reopening of the case in 2007 coupled with advancements in genetic genealogy played a pivotal role in the breakthrough. The police chief highlighted the significance of services provided by Wyndham Forensics Group and Convergence Investigative Genetic Genealogy. Gallant’s identification through common relatives in genealogy sites marked a turning point in the investigation.
Suspect’s History Unveiled
Todd Joseph Gallant, previously known as Todd Joseph Irving, was 21 at the time of the murder and had a prior conviction for break and enter on P.E.I. in 1987. Despite living in Charlottetown in 1988 he moved to Texas and Arkansas after Carr’s murder. Gallant returned to the Island in 2022. Police are collaborating with authorities in Texas and Arkansas to piece together his timeline over the last 35 years.
The motive behind Carr’s murder case in Canada and whether it constitutes a hate crime remains unknown. Chief MacConnell emphasized the ongoing commitment to uncovering the truth. The use of genetic genealogy considered a game-changer in major crime investigations played a crucial role in finally bringing answers to a case that haunted the island for decades.