Human remains identified as 2004 homicide victim Cheryl Pyne: New Brunswick

Moncton, New Brunswick – 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.

Cheryl Pyne
(RCMP) Cheryl Pyne
Cheryl Pyne
(RCMP) Cheryl Pyne

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.

Kathryn Pyne-Welner
(RCMP) Kathryn Pyne-Welner

“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.

New Brunswick RCMP

Statement from the family of Cheryl Pyne

Moncton, New Brunswick – It is with deep relief that the remains of our family member, Cheryl Pyne, have been located after being reported missing in August 2004. This has been horrific and unbearable at times. No one EVER deserves to die the way our family members have; either of them.

Both Cheryl Pyne and Kathy Pyne-Welner had families and friends who loved them. They were women who poured their heart and soul into their family, and friends who became their family. They both were somebody’s sister, mother, daughter – they were human beings and had the right to be treated as such.

The family is a little frustrated knowing that Cheryl’s’ remains were found eight years ago, in 2012, and the system has let us down. We’re trying our best to have closure under the circumstances. Because of the weather and what the world is going through right now, laying her to rest has been postponed. At the same time, we are thankful for the officers and detectives who have worked hard to bring us these results.

Chery Pyne as a child, with her mother Kathryn Pyne-Welner
(RCMP) Chery Pyne as a child, with her mother Kathryn Pyne-Welner
Grave marker for Cheryl Pyne and Kathryn Pyne-Welner
(RCMP) Grave marker for Cheryl Pyne and Kathryn Pyne-Welner

Although her life ended tragically, the time she spent with friends and family was memorable, and full of pride and joy. Cheryl was outgoing, saw the brighter side of most situations, and had a way of bringing everyone together.

She had made a positive impression on a lot of people throughout her life, including complete strangers. She would go out of her way to help anyone in need. Cheryl has been missed dearly since her disappearance.

The funeral and burial will be held on a later date in the spring, at Alderwood Cemetery, in Riverview, where she will be finally laid to rest with her mom Kathryn Pyne-Welner. There will be an obituary following this by Tuttle Brothers & Riverview Funeral Home.

Even though we have found enormous waves of solace with outpouring love and support from our friends and family, this is still a difficult time, not knowing the events that preceded our mother’s death. We still appeal to the public for information regarding the death of Kathy Pyne-Welner.

Trudy Welner

Cheryl Pyne’s sister

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