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A murder charge has been laid against one of three people arrested in the case of a British Columbia man who disappeared while travelling in Alberta in the summer.

Valentine Degenhardt, a 45-year-old Salmon Arm resident, was last seen at a gas station in Barrhead on July 17 and was reported missing by his common-law spouse two days later.

RCMP say hikers later found Degenhardt's vehicle, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, in a remote area between Whitecourt and Swan Hills, about two hours northwest of Edmonton.

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They say investigators have determined another specific area to search for Degenhardt's body, and the Mounties' Special Tactical Operations team has been called in to help.

Norman "John" Jerrett, who is 46, is charged with first-degree murder while a second man who is 29, Carl McAllister, and a 45-year-old woman, Norma McAllister, are facing charges that include accessory after the fact.

All three Barrhead residents were arrested on Saturday and remain in custody, pending a court appearance in that community on Nov. 26.

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