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UPDATE: CCTV image released of Deerfoot Athletic park murder victim

Police believe a fire was started in the park in an attempt to cover up evidence.

Calgary police have now released a CCTV image of the victim in a recent homicide hours before her death.

They’re hoping it will spur additional tips from the public.

Following a Friday morning autopsy, Calgary Police revealed that the victim of the Deerfoot Athletic Park homicide was 58-year-old Judy Maerz of Calgary.

“We have released a photo of Judy from the night before her body was discovered, in hopes anyone who may have seen her, or had contact with her in the days leading up to her murder will come forward with information,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson of the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit

“Sometimes people might not realize how valuable even the smallest piece of information can be in helping us determine the events leading up to a homicide victim’s death.”

The image was taken from a CCTV camera on the evening of February 15, 2023. She was seen wearing a white jacket, light coloured blue jeans, dark shoes, while carrying a brown purse and blue reusable shopping bag.

Police were called to the popular dog walking park on Feb. 16, at around 10:35 a.m., after a concerned citizen walking a dog found Maerz’s body.

Police are not releasing the cause of her death.

“This was a horrific offence that occurred in a public area, and we’re seeking any information from the public that may be able to come forward,” said Gregson.

“Our detectives are asking anyone that may have been in the park yesterday, or know Judy Maerz to come forward so that we can determine her activities in the last 24 hours.”

Evidence burnt in fire

Calgary Police investigate a body that was found at the Foothills Athletics Park in Calgary on Thursday, February 16, 2023. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Staff Sgt. Gregson said that police have been in contact with Maerz’s adult children.

Police are looking for witnesses that may have been at the Deerfoot Athletic Park between the hours of 4:30 a.m. and 10:35 a.m. on Thursday. Additionally, they’re looking for anyone with dashcam footage from anyone travelling northbound on Deerfoot Trail for the same period of time.

Gregson told the media on Friday that a fire had been started in the park.

“We believe that there was a fire that was set in an attempt to cover up evidence,” he said.

Police are not ruling out that the homicide was committed elsewhere, and that Maerz’s body was moved to the park, but thus far are investigating that location.

He said that police were continuing to canvass the neighbourhood surrounding the park, and that they had used a drone from the Collision Reconstruction Unit to gather evidence given the large size of the park.

“It’s wide open in one sense where there’s not a lot of trees in there, and it’s kind of isolated in the way that you can get into that area with one long road getting in there, but you’re trapped,” Gregson said.

“Hopefully with the identification of the victim, maybe there’s other people that can provide some more context of what may have been happening in the last few days.”

This is Calgary’s second homicide of 2023.