RCMP have re-arrested and recharged Travis Vader in connection with the deaths of a St. Albert elderly couple whose bodies have never been found.
In March, prosecutors asked for a stay of proceedings against Vader, 42, who was scheduled to go to trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of Lyle, 78, and Marie McCann, 77. A stay is typically requested when there isn’t a reasonable likelihood of conviction, but the Crown has a one-year window to resurrect the charges.
Vader was arrested without incident Friday and charged with the murders. He will be held in custody pending a bail hearing.
Bret McCann, son of Lyle and Marie, issued a brief statement to CBC regarding Vader’s arrest.
“Today’s news means that my whole family will now have the opportunity to learn more about the investigation into my parents’ death when this case comes to trial,” he said. “Our goal now is to ensure that the accused receives a fair trial. And to that end, we will not be speaking publicly at this time. We ask that you respect our privacy.”
The McCanns were last seen fuelling up their motorhome in St. Albert, northwest of Edmonton, on July 3, 2010. They were on their way to Chilliwack, B.C., for a vacation.
Two days later, their RV was found engulfed in flames near the Minnow Lake campground, about 200 km west of St. Albert. The SUV they were towing was discovered six days later in a remote wooded area 10 km away near Carrot Creek.
Their bodies have yet to be found, but police have declared them dead and presumed murdered.
Vader spent four years behind bars 1/3 from 2010 to 2014 1/3 on numerous drug, gun and stolen vehicle charges, but was acquitted of all charges and was released on Oct. 8.
In September, Vader was also found not guilty of threatening to kill a guard at the former downtown remand centre in July 2012.
Vader has since filed a $1-million lawsuit, alleging RCMP misconduct, malicious prosecution by the RCMP say Vader will appear before an Edmonton court at a date that has yet to be determined.
TRAVIS VADER TIMELINE:
July 3, 2010: Lyle McCann, 78 and Marie McCann, 77, were last seen fuelling up their motorhome in St. Albert while they were on their way to Chilliwack, B.C. for a vacation.
July 10, 2010: The McCanns do not show up as planned to pick up their daughter at the Abbotsford airport. A missing persons report is filed and a search is launched.
July 16, 2010: The McCanns’ SUV is found abandoned deep in the bush near Carrot Creek, 45 minutes from where the motorhome was found, and about six kilometres from Niton Junction. It was abandoned near or on private land. Travis Vader, 38, is named as a person of interest in the case.
July 19, 2010: Travis Vader is arrested on multiple warrants by RCMP at a rural residence near Niton Junction, about 90 minutes west of Edmonton.
July 21, 2010: Mounties search a campground east of Edson for clues in the couple’s disappearance, but remain tight-lipped on what they may have found.
Aug. 13, 2010: The McCann family begins collecting donations for a reward for anyone with information that leads to finding their missing parents. Within a month, the reward balloons to about $60,000.
Sept. 14, 2010: Divers begin searching a small body of water located on private property in the Nojack area. Police remain tight-lipped about whether any clues were found during the search.
Oct. 2010: Two billboards of the McCanns go up along Highway 16 — one east of Wildwood and the other near the Wolf Creek turnoff.
July 20, 2011: An application order filed with the courts declares the McCanns as deceased and their deaths are “presumed to have occurred in Edson.” RCMP also file a letter to the courts declaring the seniors are presumed murdered.
July 30, 2011: A public memorial service is held at the St. Albert Catholic Church.
Jan. 19, 2012: RCMP request the public’s assistance in locating a welder or hitch company that installed a towing hitch on the McCanns’ SUV in 2006.
April 2012: Travis Vader is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of Lyle and Marie.
July 2013: A direct indictment was filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench, meaning the case will go straight to trial, skipping the six-week preliminary hearing that was scheduled to begin Sept. 9.
March 19, 2014: First-degree murder charges against Vader are stayed.
December 19, 2014: Vader is re-arrested without incident for the murders of the McCanns.