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Murder, sex assault probe sparks concerns there may be more victims: Ontario police

Ontario Provincial Police investigating a murder and a sexual assault they believe to be connected now say they are concerned there may be more victims.

Investigators are releasing photos of two individuals charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault in connection with ongoing investigations in Carleton Place just west of Ottawa.

On Nov. 12, 2023, police say Rose Kerwin, 50, was found dead in the Mississippi River near the village of Pakenham north of Carleton Place. She would be reported missing a day later on Nov. 13.

Three days later, on Nov. 15, officers say a sexual assault involving a different victim was reported in Carleton Place.

“At the time, it initially seemed like a separate investigation involving a sexual assault in Carelton Place. But as a result of the detailed investigation, it was determined that these two incidents were linked,” said Bill Dickson, OPP East Region media relations coordinator.

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Later, on Dec. 19, Marcel Lapensee, 56, of Carleton Place, and Samantha Osborne, 23, of Iroquois, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault, and forcible confinement, among other crimes.

Dickson said investigators believe the suspects connected with the victims over social media.

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“They were online and active, and could have encountered people from around the region on the internet,” he said.

Dickson said they are asking anyone who has details about the two or who might have had any interaction with the suspects online to contact them.

Police report that the accused used aliases on social media, which include Maxx Power and Sammi.

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“Sometimes people meet people on the internet, and people will pose as one type of person, and then they meet them in real life, and it turns out to be a very different scenario. So that’s why we want to talk to anyone who may have encountered them online,” Dickson said.

Police are also searching for Kerwin’s blue 2013 Mazda GX four-door sedan with Ontario licence plate CSXW 383.

Police are also searching for Rose Kerwin’s vehicle, a blue 2013 Mazda GX four-door sedan with Ontario licence plate CSXW383. Suppled by OPP

OPP victim specialists are providing support to persons impacted by these incidents.

“We want to hear from anyone to make sure that if someone else was a victim of a sexual assault, we can lay charges that are relative to that. But we also want to make sure that anyone who could have potentially been a victim also gets any services or assistance that they could need,” Dickson said.

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Police are asking anyone with information to contact the dedicated tip line at 1-844-677-9400 or the OPP non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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