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Daughter comes face to face with mom’s accused killer in Newfoundland court

By Garrett Barry

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    ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador (CTV Network) — Marina Goodyear came face to face with her father Monday in a Corner Brook, N.L., courtroom for the first time since he was accused of killing her mother.

Goodyear made long eye contact with Dean Penney during his brief court appearance. It was his first in-person appearance before a judge since he was charged with murder in the disappearance of Jennifer Hillier-Penney.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Goodyear said after the hearing. “I feel like I waited for this for so long.”

Hillier-Penney disappeared from the town of St. Anthony, on Newfoundland’s northern peninsula, on Nov. 30, 2016. The disappearance shocked the small town.

She was beginning to separate from her husband, Dean Penney, but went to his house that night to spend time with her family. Her sister dropped her off at the house and never saw her again.

Hillier-Penney’s family rallied for years to get answers about what happened, holding a march every year through town on the anniversary of her disappearance.

It was one of the biggest missing person’s cases in Newfoundland and Labrador. On Friday, after what police called a long and complex investigation, the RCMP charged Dean Penney with first degree murder.

Several members of Hillier-Penney’s family sat in the courtroom Monday to see the man in court. Goodyear said the court hearing was the longest she had spent in the same room with her father since her mother was last seen.

The hearing was brief — about five minutes — and the case was set over until Friday. Dean Penney will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

Goodyear said after the hearing that she was anxious to finally get answers about what happened to her mother.

The police investigation into Hillier-Penney’s disappearance is ongoing and police worked over the weekend near the town of St. Anthony to try to find the woman, whose remains still have not been located.

The RCMP said they performed searches in the area of Northwest Arm — a cabin area about 90 minutes from St. Anthony — using police boats and divers.

“It’s too many emotions,” Goodyear said Monday. “I never, ever thought we were going to get to this place. And the thought now that we might get her back is just is — it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.”

With files from NTV

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