North Country
11:44 am
Wed November 23, 2011

On 10th Anniversary of Hiker's Murder Police Ask For Help

On the 10th anniversary of a Quebec woman’s murder in the North Country state officials are hoping somebody will remember something than can finally help solve it.

Louise Chaput, a psychologist from Sherbrooke, was visiting the White Mountains to hike and planned to stay at the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham’s Grant the evening of Nov. 15th, according to the police investigation.

That afternoon she asked an Appalachian Mountain Club employee to suggest a short hike. He recommended the Lost Pond Trail. Chaput, 52, left but then never checked into her room.

On November 19th her family reported her missing.

Her body was found on November 22nd near the Glen Boulder Trail. She died from multiple stab wounds.

Because there was a week between her heading off for the hike and her body being discovered it is possible some people visiting the area saw something but didn’t realize it involved a crime and never reported it, said Jeffrey Strelzin, a senior assistant attorney general and the chief of the homicide unit.

Strelzin said some of Chaput’s belongings were missing and there’s a possibility they were taken by the killer.

“She had a dark blue Kanuk brand sleeping bag and a blue backpack that had a Canadian insignia on it and those two things went missing along with her car keys and a pennant,” Strelzin said. “We don’t know if they were taken from her car or if they were taken off her person.”

Strelzin said the case had had some special challenges.

“This has been a difficult case from the beginning. First, just because of the area where the murder occurred which is out in the woods.

“Second, there was a significant time lag between the murder and the discovery of Louise’s body. At least a week went by. Because of that the killer or killers essentially had a week’s head start on us that meant we lost some potential evidence out there as well.

“Third, something like this is probably more of a random-type killing, which are unusual in New Hampshire. But those tend to be more difficult to solve as well.”

Strelzin said anyone with information should contact the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit at 603-223-3856 or e-mail the Cold Case Unit at coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov