Just after midnight on January 1, 2008, while her neighbours were setting off fireworks, Kathy Carroll watched as Staff Sergeant Frank Chambers, former head of Halifax’s Major Crimes unit, and a local Priest walked up the steps to her Cole Harbour home. The family’s worst fears were confirmed.
Jennifer Horne, Kathy’s step-daughter, reported missing two days earlier, was dead.
“When I saw them I told myself ‘this isn’t going to be good,’” Carroll said during a phone interview on Sunday.
“I just remember time going into slow motion. They were coming down the stairs and were like ‘we found Jennifer,’ and you knew that they meant not alive, but you didn’t want to accept that.”
“You thought the worst but were hoping for the best.”
Jennifer was last seen by her family on the evening of December 27, 2007. Having left to meet with co-worker Desmond Maguire, her body would later be found wrapped in a rug in his closet. After being tortured and sexually assaulted she would finally suffocate when her face was covered in duct tape by Maguire’s common-law partner Ashley Haley.
Since then Carroll, currently enrolled as a student at Dalhousie University, has done her best to heal but feels she may never fully put the past behind her. “I can’t hear the word duct tape with out getting that panicky feeling.”
“Before, I didn’t really have a sense of evil in the world …It’s like a nightmare you can’t wake up from.”
Maguire and Haley would both plead guilty to the killing in 2010.