|Monica Jack and Kathryn-Mary Herbert|
The victims were Kathryn-Mary Herbert, 11, and Monica Jack, 12.
Handlen remains in custody, RCMP announced Monday at a news conference with the girls' families present.
Herbert disappeared in September 1975 close to her home in Abbotsford, B.C., while returning from a friend's house. Two months later, her body was found hidden under a rotting outhouse on the nearby Matsqui First Nation.
|Garry Taylor Handlen|
RCMP today said Handlen was suspected in the killings shortly after they happened, but police didn't have enough evidence to charge him until now.
Investigators wouldn't specify what the new evidence is, but did say advances in forensic science are a factor.
Police also released a photograph of the suspect, taken around the time of the killings. They're asking anyone who recognizes Handlen to call if they have any memories of him from that time.
|Young Garry Taylor Handlen|
"Over the years thinking about this on a daily basis and the hurt that never goes away, you know it just carries on and on."
A feature documentary on Herbert's case aired on the CBC in 2010. It examined flaws in the investigation, including missing files, overlooked evidence and other problems.
At that time, Herbert's mother, Shari Greer, talked about her frustration with the investigation and her determination to keep police working on her daughter's case.
Today Greer thanked the cold case investigators who took a fresh look at the case and gathered the evidence that led to charges.
There was no discussion at the news conference about the possibility of sexual assault; I'll let you draw your own conclusions.