Toronto homicide officers are searching a rural property owned by the man charged with murdering Tim Bosma in connection with two other cases.
Investigators are combing through the piece of land south of Kitchener, Ont., owned by Dellen Millard in relation to the disappearance of his friend Laura Babcock, who was reported missing last July, and the November death of his father Wayne, which was initially deemed a suicide.
“They’re executing search warrants in relation to our part of the investigation in regards to the missing woman and father,” said Constable Tony Vella.
Ontario Provincial Police officers are helping with search efforts on the 100-acre property in the municipality of Ayr, which is a 20-minute drive from the Millard family’s new aircraft hangar at the Waterloo airport.
Mr. Millard, 27, was the last person Ms. Babcock called before she went missing last summer, according to her ex-boyfriend Shawn Lerner. Her phone records show eight calls between Ms. Babcock and Mr. Millard on July 2 and 3.
Mr. Lerner previously told The Globe that he met with Mr. Millard, who initially denied speaking with Ms. Babcock eight times but then said she had asked him for drugs and a place to stay, which he said he declined. Mr. Lerner said he gave the phone records to police, but felt they didn’t follow up on the lead.
Wayne Millard, a former airline pilot who steered the family’s business into aircraft repair, died on Nov. 29, just as he prepared to open the new hangar. His death was deemed a suicide at the time, but the coroner’s investigation remained open six months later and Toronto police are re-investigating the case.
Wayne’s remains were cremated. Dellen and his mother – who was divorced from his father but was on good terms with him – held a memorial reception at a restaurant north of Toronto in mid-December.
In his obituary, Dellen wrote that he carries his father’s pilot’s licence in his wallet and described him as a devoted humanitarian and animal rights advocate. “He believed we can make a difference in the world. With Wayne in my heart, I believe we must,” he wrote in The Toronto Star.
Dellen Millard faces charges of first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft over $5,000 in relation to the death of Mr. Bosma, who went missing after taking two men to test drive his pick-up truck on May 6. Mark Smich, 25, was also charged with first-degree murder last week. Lawyers for both men have said they plan to plead not guilty.
The 32-year-old father’s badly burned remains were found at Mr. Millard’s farm. Officers seized a portable livestock incinerator from the property.
Mr. Millard bought the land in the municipality of Ayr for $835,000 in cash in May, 2011. He told his real estate agent that he planned to use it to build a dream home with his fiancée. Today, however, the property has a barn, fields and grassy areas but no house.
Hamilton Police are still searching for another suspect. The force finished its search of the property last week.