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RCMP officially rule out Beaudry as suspect

Police revise statement partway through Thursday

The RCMP have officially ruled out Pique columnist Michel Beaudry as a suspect in his wife's murder.

Beaudry, an award-winning writer whose work has also appeared in GQ , Sports Illustrated and Reader's Digest , was considered a suspect in the murder of wife Wendy Ladner-Beaudry, who was found dead near UBC's Pacific Spirit Park on April 3 after jogging through the park.

It is standard procedure for police to include all acquaintances and family members as possible suspects immediately following a crime. However, Beaudry was frustrated that it took police more than two months to clear his name.

"I'm relieved that the word (is) out," Beaudry said in an interview. "I've had to start my life all over again but at least now it's under clear skies and not under some weird suspicion of involvement in my wife's murder."

Cpl. Dale Carr, a spokesperson with the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Integration Team (IHIT), initially made statements in Vancouver media on June 10 saying that Beaudry had been eliminated as a suspect "at this time."

When asked by Pique Thursday morning why he was only being ruled out "at this time," Carr said that's what he was instructed to say - despite promising Beaudry that he'd be "fully exonerated" in the public.

"That's what I've been authorized to say and that's what I'm saying unless something changes," he said. "I'll give you a quick call back if something changes in the next few hours."

The RCMP then issued a statement at 12:29 p.m., saying they'd "reached a point in the investigation where they are able to say that... Michel Beaudry is not responsible for the murder."

Carr then called Pique just after 4:30 p.m. to rule out his culpability in the murder.

"We're in a position to make it abundantly clear that Mr. Beaudry is not a suspect," he said. "He's just not a suspect, we're not interested in him as the person that killed his wife and we're moving on from that to looking for another person responsible."

Carr was then asked whether he issued the statement because Beaudry contacted him during the day. Carr confirmed he had, but said police were already considering revising their statement even before he contacted them.

"We had been discussing the matter all morning in fact," he said. "We'd been discussing whether or not we needed to clarify it."

The RCMP publicly considered Beaudry a suspect as early as April 30, when spokesman Cpl. Peter Thiessen told the Province newspaper that he simply hadn't been ruled out as a suspect in the murder. He was finally exonerated Thursday, almost a month and a half after Thiessen's comments.

Despite his grief over his wife's murder, Beaudry continued to write his Alta States column for Pique until April 22. In the week of Ladner-Beaudry's murder he wrote that she was a "positive, life-affirming person" with a love for the mountains that "never wavered."

She was an avid skier, a regular presence at Whistler in its early days as a ski destination and a physical-fitness advocate who was a strong pusher for the 2010 Games.

Police continue to investigate her murder, sifting through over 300 tips they've received since the incident.