Calgary police announced Tuesday charges had been laid in the shooting death of a man 16 years ago.
Paul Hepher was found dead in the basement suite of his Mount Pleasant home, located in the 500 block of 19 Avenue N.W., on Sunday, March 4, 2001.
Police said the 50-year-old was an amateur musician who had no criminal history and led a relatively quiet life. He was last seen alive in the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2001.
Although forensic evidence was collected from the basement suite where Hepher was found, investigators weren’t able to lay changes until last Thursday, when Terrance Lane Wardale, 61, was charged with second-degree murder.
“There’s several reasons that an investigation can take a long time,” Insp. Don Coleman said at a Tuesday news conference. “The majority of it is evidence based. [A] lack of witness information, lack of physical evidence – makes for lots of challenges in an investigation.”
WATCH: Insp. Don Coleman explains why an investigation can take such a long time to close.
Since Hepher’s death, police conducted three homicide operations in the hopes of cracking the case.
In 2014, evidence was obtained and submitted to a lab for further investigation.
“The new evidence that pushed the case forward was DNA related,” Coleman said. “There was a large suspect list of more than a dozen people … it took time to work though and confirm or eliminate those suspects.”
“Ultimately, in this case, DNA played a huge role.”
According to Coleman, the suspect’s DNA, which they allege matched forensics found at the scene, was not obtained voluntarily but instead through “investigative techniques.”
Police said although investigators knew who they were looking for, the suspect could not be found. After 22 months of searching, investigators were able to locate the suspect in Sherwood Park, Alta.
Investigators believe that the suspect and victim knew each other. They allege the victim was targeted for financial reasons.
“They were acquaintances, loose associates,” Coleman said.
When asked what the suspect had been doing in the 16 years since Hepher’s death, Coleman said he had been living a “relatively low-profile, quiet life.”
Hepher is survived by a brother. Coleman said he has “taken a lot of comfort in the fact that his brother’s murder could be successfully concluded.”
WATCH: Insp. Don Coleman says being able to provide closure to Paul Hepher’s family brings the most satisfaction to officers.