The family of Lyle and Marie McCann hoped today would be the end of their six-year nightmare. The St. Albert seniors vanished on a camping trip in July 2016.
44-year-old Travis Vader was charged with first-degree murder in their deaths, despite the fact their bodies were never found.
Justice Denny Thomas spent nearly 50 minutes going through his decision, which was broadcast live with a TV camera in the courtroom, before finding Vader guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder.
Prior to the verdict being handed down on Thursday, Bret McCann said it’s been a long ordeal.
“A marathon of hope and anxiety and ups-and-downs and a roller coaster. Starting out from ‘Were my parents hurt? Were they somewhere stuck in the woods?’ to realizing my parents are dead and then the whole RCMP chasing this guy for six years now.”
At one point it looked like the case would not make it to court. A month before the original trial date charges against Vader were stayed. Nine months later the charges were re-instated amid allegations RCMP had mishandled the case.
McCann tells Global News he was unhappy when the defence argued the crown had no evidence the McCanns were even dead. “That was a ridiculous, insulting tactic.” Vader’s lawyer told the judge all the evidence is circumstantial since there is no body and no murder weapon.