A long-standing unsolved mystery that gripped Canada for decades has finally been resolved, as authorities identified the woman known as the “Nation River Lady” and laid a murder charge against a former Montreal resident, Your Content has learned.
Referred to as the “Nation River Lady,” she remained nameless until now.
Radio-Canada recently revealed that the victim’s true identity is Jewell Parchman Langford, a former Tennessee resident who was 48 years old at the time of her death.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) played a crucial role in uncovering Langford’s identity and subsequently charging Rodney Nichols, a man who had been acquainted with her during her time in Montreal.
Nichols, now 81 and residing in Florida, is currently facing an extradition request. The investigation into this cold case has significant implications spanning Ontario, Quebec, Florida, and Tennessee.
Jewell Langford hailed from a family of seven in Madison County, where her parents owned a farm. While residing in Canada, Langford had been actively involved in the fitness industry in Jackson, Tenn.
Alongside her then-husband, Atlas Langford, she established the Imperial Health Spa, a fitness and weight loss center, in 1972.
According to a reliable source, Jewell Langford was reported missing in the spring of 1975 to the Montreal police, shortly after relocating to the city.
The last confirmed sighting of her was at the end of April that year, prompting authorities to initiate an investigation into her disappearance in May.
However, the connection between her missing person case in Montreal and the body discovered approximately 150 kilometers away near Highway 417 in Casselman, Ontario, was never established.
The OPP provided details about the gruesome state in which the woman’s decomposed body was found.
Traces of blood were discovered on the bridge over the highway, suggesting that she may have been thrown into the Nation River.
Throughout the years, law enforcement referred to her as the “Nation River Lady” in public statements, her true identity remaining a mystery.
Rodney Nichols, a prominent figure in the Montreal rugby community, especially within the English-speaking community in the western part of the city, now faces a formal charge of Langford’s murder.
The charge was filed on September 8, 2022, as revealed in court documents in L’Orignal, Ontario.
Although the OPP did not publicly announce the charge at the time, the subsequent lifting of the publication ban allows for the disclosure of this significant development.
Nichols, currently residing in Hollywood, Florida, awaits an extradition hearing and has not entered a plea. Attempts to reach him for comment at his Florida residence were unsuccessful.
The OPP’s decision to reopen the cold case in the mid-2010s led to the recent murder charge. In 2017, experts from the OPP unveiled a three-dimensional clay bust based on the victim’s remains, hoping to generate leads on her identity.
However, it was advancements in DNA testing and genetic genealogy that ultimately led to the identification of Jewell Langford. Armed with her name, investigators made substantial progress in the case.
For years, Langford’s unidentified body remained in Canada while a commemorative plaque honoring her disappearance was placed in a cemetery in Jackson, Tennessee.
The plaque read, “Missing, but not forgotten.” After Langford’s identity was established, her remains, according to CBC.