Police charge Iqaluit man with girl’s murder

RCMP confident they have right suspect this time



Four months after Jennifer Naglingniq, 13, was found slain in her mother’s home, an Iqaluit man has been charged with first-degree murder.

Mark King Jeffrey, 22, of Iqaluit was arrested and charged on March 25. He remains in solitary confinement at the Baffin Correctional Centre until his next court appearance on April 8.

Naglingniq was found dead just after midnight in a residential neighbourhood behind the Apex Quick Stop on Dec. 6, 2002. The teen’s homicide shocked the community and generated criticism of police efforts to inform the public about their investigation.

Staff-Sgt. Mike Jeffrey and Const. Joe Baines defended their investigation during a March 15 press conference, just hours after the accused was formerly arraigned at the Iqaluit courthouse.

“The RCMP had to balance what information it could release to the general public with the pressures of an ongoing investigation,” Mike Jeffrey said. Staff-Sgt. Mike Jeffrey is not related to the accused.

Iqaluit RCMP would not say what evidence lead them to Mark Jeffrey or his connection to Naglingniq. Nor would police say how long they’ve targeted the man as a suspect.

As many as 25 officers worked on the case at one time. DNA samples, interviews with family and friends, and crime scene evidence all played a key role in the arrest.

“This tragic incident has had a profound effect on most people in Nunavut, from the youth to the elderly. The investigation has challenged the RCMP and the community to come together to solve this unfortunate and tragic crime,” Mike Jeffrey said.

Police would not say if they’ve identified other suspects or if other charges are pending.

A first-degree murder charge was laid and then withdrawn against a 24-year-old Iqaluit man in late December. The Crown entered a stay of proceedings in those charges after additional information came to light.

The cause of Naglingniq’s death has never been released. However police originally called the killing “brutal.”

Mike Jeffrey said Naglingniq’s family was notified of the suspect’s arrest, but he declined to elaborate on their reaction.

Ron McCormick, Nunavut’s director of community corrections, said Jeffrey had been separated from the prison’s general remand population and was under a suicide watch.

“We’re going to treat him the same as any other offender charged with a serious crime,” McCormick said.

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