Accused in Nation River Lady Murder Returns to Face Ontario Court

Par Gabrielle Vinette
Accused in Nation River Lady Murder Returns to Face Ontario Court
Rodney Nichols, accused of strangling Jewell Langford, also known as the Nation River Lady, will undergo a fitness test. (Photo : Provided)

The individual accused of murdering a woman and disposing of her body in the Nation River has been extradited to Canada from the United States to face charges in the nearly 50-year-old murder case.  

On Friday, December 1, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) worked with the U.S. Marshal Service to bring former Montrealer Rodney Nichols, 81, from Hollywood, Florida to accused of murder to court in Casselman. 

Rodney Nichols is accused of strangling Jewell Langford and disposing her body in the Nation River near Casselman on May 3, 1975. Due to a lack of adequate technology at the time, Langford was long referred to as the ‘Nation River Lady’ until police identified her remains in 2020. 

OPP officers travelled to Florida to interview Nichols in July, 2023, and collected DNA samples they later matched to blood found on a cloth used to bind Langford’s body. 

Langford was identified thanks to more advanced DNA testing, known as Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) testing. The OPP, in coordination with the Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC), Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) and Provincial Crown Attorney, matched samples through whole genome sequencing from an individual listed in a family DNA tree.  

Nichols made a virtual appearance before the Ontario Court of Justice in L’Orignal on Saturday, December 2. His next appearance will be Thursday, December 7, to discuss bail. 

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