The man accused of murdering Truro police officer Catherine Campbell is a certified firefighter, medical first responder and is described as a “fitness guru.”
According to the Safety P.A.T.H. website, Christopher Calvin Garnier is a team member for the occupational health and safety organization, which provides education, training and advice to employers, labour and industry associations, and law enforcement agencies.
“Chris enrolled in the OHS Certificate Program at Dalhousie University in 2013 and has not looked back,” states his bio on the Safety P.A.T.H website. “Whether he is helping employers to improve their return to work programs or helping employees improve their personal health and well-being, Chris' passion for health and safety shines and the positive results show.”
Garnier has assisted in delivering the Advanced OHS Accident Investigation Program at Dalhousie University since 2013, according to the website.
He had also recently been hired to work at a Halifax-area fire suppression and safety company, but was fired after two days.
Rob Green, the branch manager for K&D Pratt Maritimes, said Garnier started working for the company as a salesman on Monday but was fired Wednesday when he failed to show up for work.
He also said Garnier spoke with people he believed to be police officers in an unmarked vehicle for about an hour on Tuesday.
Green said he and staff members were stunned when they learned of the charges against Garnier, whose picture and address listed in court documents matched with the man they just hired.
"My first thought was for the poor family of the deceased woman," Green said in an interview. "I can't imagine, as a parent myself, how anybody would feel to have their child taken away in a very heinous way."
Green said he met Garnier for only 20 minutes during an initial orientation on Monday.
"It's a bit surreal," said Green, who described Garnier as a quiet, soft-spoken man who seemed positive about his new job.
"People in the office were quite shocked. And everybody, without fail, their first consideration was, 'Oh my God, this woman's family.' You just feel terrible. It's awful. It's tragic."
GoodLife Fitness also confirmed to CTV News that Garnier was once a personal trainer at its Clayton Park location, but he left the gym a few months ago.
The 27-year-old is originally from Cape Breton’s Northside but now lives in the Clayton Park area of Halifax.
He is charged with second-degree murder and indecently interfering with a dead human body in connection with Campbell’s death.
Campbell, a constable with the Truro Police Service, was reported missing when she failed to show up for work on Monday.
Police allege she met Garnier at a bar in downtown Halifax, but they don't know whether they knew each other before that meeting.
Officers found her body in a wooded area near an overpass that leads to the Macdonald Bridge connecting Halifax and Dartmouth shortly after midnight Wednesday, about an hour before Garnier was arrested during a traffic stop in Clayton Park.
Police believe Campbell was murdered at a McCully Street address early Friday morning.
They are asking for anyone who might have seen a man in shorts and a T-shirt pushing a green bin around 4:30 a.m. on Friday along Agricola Street and North Street to the underpass where Campbell's body was found to come forward.
When asked if the cart contained Campbell's body, Perrin would only say that it contained evidence.
Garnier made a brief court appearance Thursday morning. He was remanded into custody until his next court appearance on Sept. 30.
With files from The Canadian Press