Murder suspect reserves plea during first court apperance
South Peace News
There is new hope that justice will be done for Jennifer Donovan after a local man was arrested for her murder.
Victorine “Jennifer” Donovan was murdered on Oct. 8, 2019, in Peace River. Her body was found near a chain link fence in the early hours of the morning after a call was made to police about an injured person.
An autopsy later determined she was the victim of a homicide.
Donovan was 37.
According to Wendy Goulet, the mother of three was a regular supporter of the Sisters in Spirit walks for missing and murdered Indigenous women before her own death. A candlelight vigil in Donovan’s honour held two days after she was found drew hundreds of mourners including her common law partner Ben Eastman.
Mathew Ian Blachford, 32, was arrested on Jan. 30, and charged with one count of second degree murder after what RCMP Major Crimes says was a “lengthy” investigation.
“Now we will have answers,” says Shelly Mercredi, whose brother Kevin is the father of Donovan’s children.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Blachford graduated from Peace River Glenmary School in 2005 and has mainly worked in oil and gas. He worked for Clearstream for seven years as a superintendent and welding inspector. He also worked at the silica plant and for Manzer Energy before most recently working at Flex Ventures Inc. as a driver and operator.
Blachford’s father, Bob Blachford, was Shell’s Peace River operations manager for six years.
Mercredi says both her brother and Jennifer worked for Blachford several years ago.
Multiple people who knew Blachford allege he struggled with addictions.
Blachford made his first court appearance in Peace River on Feb. 3 and reserved plea. He will appear in court again on Feb. 24 and is currently seeking legal counsel.
After his arrest and judicial hearing, Blachford was remanded into custody.