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Rose Kerwin may have been killed days before body found, court docs show

The body of 50-year-old Rose Kerwin was found in the Mississippi River near Pakenham, Ont., in November 2023. Two people have since been charged with first-degree murder in her death. (Dean Brown/Facebook - image credit)
The body of 50-year-old Rose Kerwin was found in the Mississippi River near Pakenham, Ont., in November 2023. Two people have since been charged with first-degree murder in her death. (Dean Brown/Facebook - image credit)

A woman whose body was found in the Mississippi River in November 2023 may have been murdered several days before the grisly discovery, court documents suggest.

Rose Kerwin, 50, was last seen alive in Carleton Place, Ont. She'd been reported missing on Nov. 13, one day after a body was found in the river near Pakenham, Ont., about 30 kilometres away.

Police would later identify the body as Kerwin's and deem her death suspicious.

In December, Lanark OPP arrested and charged Marcel Lapensee, 56, from Carleton Place and 23-year-old Samantha Osborne from Iroquois, Ont., with first-degree murder in Kerwin's death.

The pair were also charged with forcible confinement, sexual assault and uttering threats, all in connection to another victim.

Lapensee made a brief court appearance by video from jail in Brockville, Ont., early Thursday afternoon. A new court document tied to that appearance suggests the OPP believe Kerwin was murdered on or about Nov. 8, five days before she was reported missing.

Lapensee is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 24.

56-year-old Marcel Lapensee from Carleton Place and 23-year-old Samantha Osborne from Iroquois, Ont., were charged in December with first-degree murder in Rose Kerwin's death.
56-year-old Marcel Lapensee from Carleton Place and 23-year-old Samantha Osborne from Iroquois, Ont., were charged in December with first-degree murder in Rose Kerwin's death.

Marcel Lapensee, 56, from Carleton Place and 23-year-old Samantha Osborne from Iroquois, Ont., were charged in December 2023 with first-degree murder in Rose Kerwin's death. (Ontario Provincial Police)

According to the OPP, Lapensee and Osborne also used the aliases Maxx Power and Sammi on a dating site. The police force has expressed concern that there could be other victims.

Details have been scarce about Kerwin, but several sources have told CBC that she had a troubled history with men.

Those sources said Kerwin had gone to high school in Ottawa and had recently been spending more time in Carleton Place.

The owner of the 7 West Motel on the town's outskirts, meanwhile, said Kerwin had been living there in the weeks before her disappearance.

An obituary published in the Ottawa Citizen noted Kerwin had obtained a phlebotomy medical certificate and had been providing care to seniors before her death.

She's survived by her mother and three siblings, the obituary said.