Former girlfriend charged with first-degree murder in death of missing Nanaimo man

Sidney Mantee, left, is shown with former girlfriend Paris Laroche, right. Laroche has been charged with first-degree murder in his death.

A 26-year-old woman has been charged with murder in the death of her 33-year-old former boyfriend, whose disappearance sparked a wide-scale search in Nanaimo last year.

Paris Laroche is charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains in the death of Sidney Mantee, Nanaimo RCMP said Thursday.

Laroche was arrested Wednesday and was held in custody pending a court appearance Thursday in Nanaimo Provincial Court.

“Following a two-year investigation, first degree murder charges have been laid in the death of Sidney Mantee, 26- year-old Paris Laroche was arrested yesterday and the B.C. Prosecution Service has approved charges of first degree murder and indignity to human remains. She remains in custody,” said Retired Const. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP.

Mantee was first reported missing by family in Saskatchewan in fall 2020.

Last May, police declared he had likely been the victim of foul play and searched waters including those of Neck Point Park, Piper’s Lagoon and Diver’s Lake Park for his remains.

RCMP also searched the apartment the couple shared, removing the apartment’s railing and drywall from inside the suite, where neighbours reported hearing loud arguments in the months prior to Mantee’s disappearance.

“The screaming was like death-defying screams you know it wasn’t just a little get out of here sort of scream it was kind of like, someone was peed off about something,” former neighbour Ryan Webster told CHEK News on May 27, 2021.

“To have somebody missing and not know where the body is has gotta be just gut wrenching,” former neighbour James Lowe told CHEK News on July 11, 2021.

Police did not confirm Thursday whether Mantee’s remains had been discovered.

According to Laroche’s Facebook profile, she indicated she and Mantee had started a relationship in 2016. Police have not confirmed the relationship between the victim and suspect.

“The investigation required significant time and police resources. In the weeks and months following Mantee’s disappearance, investigators exhaustively searched several locations, and followed up on dozens of tips in order to gather evidence related to the homicide,” Nanaimo RCMP said in a news release.

Authorities say the families of those involved are asking for privacy and declined further comment as the matter is now before the courts.


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