A federal court judge in Florida has ordered that Rodney Nichols, accused of murdering Jewell Parchman Langford in a case that remained unsolved for decades, be extradited from the United States to Canada to face his charges in court.
Nichols, 81, has been living under house arrest in Hollywood, Florida, since August 18, when he was released on a $250,000 personal surety bond with conditions.
Last fall he had been charged with murder by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for the death of Langford, a Tennessee woman who disappeared in Montreal in 1975.
Her body was found face down in the Nation River near Casselman, Ontario, between Montreal and Ottawa, about a month after she disappeared. But for decades, she was known only by the nickname “Nation River Lady” as authorities struggled to identify her.
Langford was recently identified with the help of forensic genealogy.
The final decision on surrender has not yet been made.
According to a US District Court document filed in the Southern District of Florida, Judge Jared Strauss certified Canada’s extradition request on Monday.
Strauss ruled that there is “probable cause” to believe that Nichols committed the crime and that the evidence presented is sufficient to establish that his alleged conduct is punishable by imprisonment in the United States and Canada.
The allegations against Nichols have not been proven in court.
It is now up to the US Secretary of State to make the final decision on whether to hand Nichols over to Canada.
If the surrender is granted, Nichols must surrender to the US Marshal.