After days of investigating, police have charged 50-year-old Howard Richmond of Winchester with first-degree murder. He now stands accused of killing his wife Melissa Richmond.

The military warrant officer, said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, appeared in an Ottawa courtroom Saturday morning.

CTV’s Claudia Cautillo was in court and described Richmond as looking tired and unshaven. She says Richmond wore a black t-shirt and hung his head low for the duration of the court appearance. He has yet to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Richmond’s court appearance comes on the same day friends and family gather for a funeral service in Petawawa to bid final farewells to his late wife.

There is a standard publication ban placed on evidence heard in bail hearings.


An investigation was first launched when Melissa Richmond was reported missing last week Wednesday. The dental hygienist was last seen after returning home from an outing with her husband and friends.

Friends and family immediately launched a massive search party that was unsuccessful in finding her.

Melissa Richmond’s car was discovered in the parking lot of the South Keys shopping plaza near the Kelsey’s restaurant a few days later on Friday, July 26th.

Sources tell CTV it had been parked there since the night of Melissa’s disappearance.

It was not until Sunday, however, that police located her body in a nearby ravine bordering Bank Street and the plaza’s parking lot.

Police disclosed it was a homicide investigation but did not make any arrests or confirm any suspects at the time.

Yesterday, police took Richmond into custody without releasing his name.

“A suspect was arrested,” says OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae, “in custody awaiting to appear by video remand in court tomorrow and he's facing a charge of murder.”

Neighbours shocked

Neighbours watched from across the street as the Canadian soldier was taken into police custody.

“Like everybody else I was shocked,” says neighbor Lois Schaafsma.

"I was shocked at first,” says Tonya Drover, another neighbor, “but overall I’m really sad because you don't know what he has gone through, what she went through, what led up to it, it's shocking.  You never think something like this would happen across the street from you.”

Friends of the couple described their relationship as “magical.”

Howard and Melissa Richmond married 8 years ago. Though there was the 22-year age difference, the two shared a passion for historical re-enactment.

Howard Richmond is to appear back in court by video link on Tuesday.