Killing of Lyle and Marie McCann

Lyle and Marie McCann were last seen on July 3, 2010, while on a road trip from their hometown of St. Albert, Alberta, to Chilliwack, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. A few days later, their charred motorhome was discovered, resulting in a search that led to the arrest of Travis Vader. Vader was eventually charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of the McCanns, though their bodies have yet to be discovered. Vader was found guilty on September 15, 2016. On October 31, 2016, the second-degree murder conviction was reversed and Vader was convicted of manslaughter.

Lyle McCann
Lyle Thomas McCann

24 August 1931
Died3 July 2010 (aged 78)
Marie McCann
Marie Waltz

15 October 1932
Died3 July 2010 (aged 77)

Lyle and Marie McCann edit

Lyle Thomas McCann was born August 24, 1931, near Red Deer, Alberta, one of six children. He was a long-haul truck driver for many years, traveling throughout North America.[1] Marie McCann (née Waltz) was born October 15, 1932, in Torrington, Alberta, one of seven children.

The two were married July 30, 1952, in Torrington, and have resided in St. Albert, Alberta, since 1964.[2] They had three children.[3] Lyle and Marie were 78 and 77 years old, respectively, at the time of their disappearance.[4]

Disappearance edit

On July 3, 2010, the McCanns left St. Albert for Chilliwack, BC, for a vacation and were to pick up their daughter on July 10 at the Abbotsford International Airport.[5] That same day they were seen at a Superstore gas station fuelling their 1999 Gulfstream Coach motorhome in St. Albert, with their green Hyundai Tucson in tow. They are then believed to have traveled to the Yellowhead Highway.[3][6]

In the evening of July 5, firefighters responded to a motorhome on fire at the Minnow Lake campground near Edson, Alberta. No bodies were found, but police discovered the motorhome belonged to the McCanns, though the Hyundai Tucson was missing. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) visited the McCanns' home, but received no answer.[7]

When the McCanns did not arrive in at Abbotsford Airport on July 10, their daughter, Trudy Holder, notified the RCMP, who released a missing persons notification.[7] The RCMP realized the connection between the burned-out motorhome and the McCanns' disappearance and launched aerial and ground searches.[6] On July 16, the RCMP found the McCanns' SUV near Highway 16 and Range Road 144, about 30 kilometres east of Edson. They soon announced that the disappearance of the McCanns appeared to be foul play. At the same time, the RCMP revealed a person of interest, 38-year-old Travis Edward Vader of no fixed address.[8] Vader had multiple outstanding warrants at the time and a criminal history, including vehicular theft in 1995; possession of break-in tools, driving a motor vehicle while unauthorized, operating an irregular motor vehicle and trailer, and weapons charges in August 2009; stealing and burning a truck in December 2009; and careless use of a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm in June 2010.[9]

Arrest of Travis Vader and continued searches edit

On July 19, 2010, Vader was arrested near Niton Junction, Alberta, on outstanding warrants unrelated to the disappearance of the McCanns.[7] On July 27, Vader's sister, Bobbi-Jo, revealed to the media that her brother stayed with her family in Edmonton on July 4, a day after the McCanns were last seen, and that he appeared "tired... sick and [that] he needed to rest."[10]

Vader, while still being held in custody, was officially announced a suspect in the disappearance of the McCanns on August 31, 2010.[11] On September 10, the RCMP announced they were searching a property south of Nojack, Alberta, as part of the investigation.[7] On September 14, the RCMP revealed they had ended their search of the property, where they searched a pond, septic tank, and combed through piles of debris.[12] The property belonged to an acquaintance of Vader, and a dive team was used to search the pond and septic tank.[13]

Vader, still in custody, was denied bail on March 18, 2011; the RCMP believed he still had information about the McCanns or had some involvement with them, though he did not face any charges related to the investigation.[14] A few months later, on June 27, 2011, the RCMP searched a property near Lodgepole, Alberta, southwest of Edmonton, in relation to the investigation.[15]

Declaration of the couple's death and Vader's release edit

On July 27, 2011, a court issued an order declaring the McCanns to be deceased; the RCMP now believed the McCanns to have been killed the day they disappeared.[16] Vader was denied bail yet again on February 15, 2012.[17]

On April 23, 2012, Vader was officially charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, though the whereabouts of their bodies is still unknown.[18] These charges were stayed by the Crown on 13 March 2014.[7] On October 12, 2012, Vader was convicted of offences that included drug trafficking, theft, and weapons charges, though a new trial was ordered due to previously undisclosed evidence.[7] On February 13, 2014, Vader launched a lawsuit against the RCMP, accusing them of keeping him in custody until he could be charged with the deaths of the McCanns.[7]

On October 8, 2014, Vader was found not guilty of nine charges unrelated to the disappearance of the McCanns, and released from custody shortly afterwards.[19] Upon his release, Vader told the media that the RCMP had "probably destroyed my life... [They] put me in jail for four years to investigate me when there was nothing there to begin with" and that he knew nothing about the McCanns and that his "heart goes out to them."[20]

Vader re-arrested and convicted of second-degree murder edit

On December 19, 2014, Vader was arrested in St. Albert yet again in relation to the deaths of the McCanns.[21] The whereabouts of the McCanns' bodies still remained unknown.[22]

On September 15, 2016, Vader was found not guilty of first-degree murder. He was, however, found guilty of second-degree murder with an eligibility of parole within 10–25 years. The verdict attracted immediate criticism from legal experts, who claimed that it relied on a law that had been previously ruled unconstitutional.[23] On October 31, 2016, Justice Denny Thomas reversed the original conviction and Vader was convicted of manslaughter.[24]

On January 25, 2017, Vader was sentenced to a single term of life in prison, with the eligibility of parole in 7 years.[22][25]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Memorial service held for Alberta couple who vanished last year". Toronto Star. 2011-07-30. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  2. ^ "Lyle and Marie McCann Obituary". Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  3. ^ a b "Foul play suspected in case of missing St. Albert couple". CTV News Edmonton. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  4. ^ "Elderly St. Albert Couple Missing". RCMP. 2010-07-07. Archived from the original on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  5. ^ "Alberta RCMP arrest Travis Vader again in connection to murders of Lyle and Marie McCann". Edmonton Sun. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  6. ^ a b "Missing Persons - McCANN - Appeal to the Public". RCMP. 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Missing couple: Timeline of the McCann case". CBC News. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  8. ^ "Person of Interest in McCann Case". RCMP. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  9. ^ "Missing couple's SUV found near Edson, Alta". CBC News. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  10. ^ "Vader not guilty in McCann case: sister". CBC News. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  11. ^ "Vader a suspect in McCann disappearance". CBC News. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  12. ^ "McCann search wraps up on Alta. property". CBC News. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  13. ^ "Dive team wraps up search of pond west of Edmonton". CTV News Edmonton. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  14. ^ "Suspect in Alta. couple's disappearance denied bail". CBC News. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  15. ^ "New site searched for missing Alberta couple". CBC News. 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  16. ^ "McCanns killed on day of disappearance, RCMP believe". CBC News. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  17. ^ "Vader denied bail". Toronto Sun. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  18. ^ "McCanns' son elated by charges in 2010 disappearance". CBC News. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  19. ^ "Travis Vader found not guilty on 9 charges unrelated to McCann deaths". Global News. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  20. ^ "Travis Vader, once accused in McCann murders, freed from jail". CBC News. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  21. ^ "Travis Vader arrested as murder charges reactivated in McCann case". CBC. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
  22. ^ a b "Travis Vader gets life sentence for killing elderly Alberta couple". CBC. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  23. ^ "Travis Vader found guilty of second-degree murder". 15 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  24. ^ "Travis Vader murder verdict changed to manslaughter as judge admits error". Toronto Star. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  25. ^ "Travis Vader sentenced to life in prison". CTVNews. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-01-25.