Aviation heir remains silent after kidnapping charge in Bosma case

The Globe and Mail

Police probing the mysterious disappearance of 32-year-old Tim Bosma, a church-going father who vanished Monday night after two men showed up at his Ancaster home inquiring about a pickup truck he was selling, believe the truck may hold the key to what happened. (Hamilton Police Service)

The man charged in connection with the mysterious disappearance of an Ontario father is not speaking to police, according to his lawyer.

Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old heir to a family aviation dynasty, faces charges of forcible confinement and theft over $5,000. Police are still searching for a second suspect.

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“He’s exercising his rights to remain silent,” said Deepak Paradkar, Mr. Millard’s lawyer. “We don’t know what the case is in terms of his knowledge and so forth. We’re waiting to see what the police have.”

Police investigating the disappearance of Tim Bosma say they have “concentrated” their search for the 32-year-old father in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Officers spent Monday searching a hangar owned by Mr. Millard’s family aviation company at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Detective Sergeant Matt Kavanagh of the Hamilton Police said he expects the search to last “at least” two or three days.

Mr. Bosma was last seen in the evening of May 6 at his house before taking two men to test drive his 2007 black Dodge Ram pickup truck. He has not been heard from since, although his cellphone was discovered in Brantford on Thursday. His tight-knit family and friends have gathered with his wife Sharlene at their home in Ancaster, just outside Hamilton.

“The arrest was good news because we just finally had news. And then since that time, there’s been a waiting game,” said Peter Lowe, who knew Mr. Bosma in high school and is helping manage the search effort’s Facebook page.

A large covered trailer, which is believed to contain Mr. Bosma’s truck, was found on Sunday at Mr. Millard’s mother’s home in Kleinburg, north of Toronto. Det. Sgt. Kavanagh, who said the trailer is owned by Mr. Millard’s business, said officers expected to begin processing the trailer and truck on Monday after obtaining a search warrant.

Frank Cianfarani, who lives beside Madeleine Burns, Mr. Millard’s mother, called police on Sunday morning after becoming suspicious about the black trailer, which appeared in her driveway on Thursday evening and was parked against the garage door. Ms. Burns did not return phone messages.

Police, who have said the truck is central to the case, allege that Mr. Millard and another man took a similar vehicle for a test drive on May 5 in Toronto. The vehicle owner provided investigators with descriptions of the men, including that one had a tattoo of the word “ambition” on his wrist. Police said Mr. Millard has such a tattoo.

Mr. Millard’s grandfather, Carl, founded Millardair, a charter airline and storage company, which was passed onto Dellen’s father, Wayne. After the company’s lease wasn’t renewed at Pearson Airport a few years ago, Wayne built a 50,000-square-foot hangar for heavy-aircraft maintenance work at the Waterloo airport and expected to begin operations late last year, according to an article in the aviation magazine Canadian Skies.

However, after Wayne died in late 2012, Millardair’s operations appear to have shrunk. Dellen, who became the youngest pilot to fly solo in both a single-engine airplane and a helicopter when he turned 14, is now CEO of the company, his lawyer said.

Millardair cancelled a key operational certificate required from Transport Canada in February, according to a departmental spokeswoman.

Last fall, Millardair hired several mechanics and other staff in preparation for launching its aircraft repair and maintenance business, according to an employee at another company based at the Waterloo airport. However, after Wayne died, the workers were laid off and neighbours spotted little activity at Millardair’s new hangar, said the man, who did not want to be identified. One online listing shows the hangar was available for lease.

However, Mr. Paradkar, who said Mr. Millard and his family are “in shock” at his arrest, said the firm was “tooling up” to continue its operations.

In recent years, Mr. Millard appears to have become interested in cars. He and another man were listed in the roster of the Baja 1000, an off-road race, in 2009. Photos on Facebook show him working on cars in an aircraft hangar.

With a report from Rick Cash