The day after B.C. Mounties announced charges in two decades-old child murders, a private investigator is sharing new details on the accused.

Ontario senior Garry Taylor Handlen was arrested Friday in the killings of Kathryn-Mary Herbert and Monica Jack, who were taken from their families in separate incidents in the 1970s.

The announcement was welcome news to investigator Lee Hanlon, who spent time looking into Herbert’s death.

“I was elated,” he told CTV News. “Finally something’s going to happen.”

Handlen lived in the Lower Mainland during the ‘70s and, according to the private investigator, once dated a 16-year-old girl who was staying at the Herbert residence.

“That’s how… the family knew him,” he said.

Herbert, an Abbotsford resident, was killed in 1975 at the age of 11. Jack disappeared not far from her family’s home in Merritt in 1978, days shy of her 13th birthday.

Hanlon said there are similarities between both murders and the killing of Abbotsford teenager Theresa Hildebrandt in 1976, including that all three victims suffered blunt force trauma to the head and multiple broken facial bones.

In the past, police have suggested the three cases could be linked, but Handlen has not been charged in Hildebrandt’s death.

“There is no evidence that we can bring forward toward the court at this point to put Mr. Handlen in the Hildebrandt investigation,” RCMP Supt. Ward Lymburner said Monday.

Mounties said their investigation is ongoing, and they are hoping a photo released of Handlen in the ‘70s will trigger someone’s memory.

Handlen has a criminal record for two rapes that date back to the same decade. Newspaper clippings confirm that he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for one of the brutal sex assaults in 1979.

He is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder. None of the new allegations against him have been proven in court.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro