Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Son Asks Convicted Killer: 'Travis Vader, Where Are the Bodies of My Parents?'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Son Asks Convicted Killer: 'Travis Vader, Where Are the Bodies of My Parents?'

Article excerpt

Son asks convicted killer for bodies of parents

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EDMONTON - Married for 57 years, they were kindred spirits and called each other darling.

Lyle McCann, 78, was known for his patience, a retired long-haul trucker who liked to play cribbage and watch curling on TV. Marie, 77, could whip up a five-course family meal and fill a room with her laughter.

Bret McCann has a recurring nightmare of his parents' death -- how one of them was killed first while the other had to watch in horror knowing he or she was next.

But he doesn't know the details of what happened on July 3, 2010, the day his parents were slain after they left their Edmonton-area home on a camping trip to British Columbia.

Their burned-out motorhome and a vehicle they had been towing were discovered in the days after they vanished.

Their bodies have never been found.

"The one individual who knows where my parents are has said nothing for this whole time," Bret McCann told a sentencing hearing Monday.

"Travis Vader, where are the bodies of my parents?"

Justice Denny Thomas convicted Vader earlier this year of manslaughter. The judge concluded Vader was a desperate drug addict who had come across the seniors in their RV and killed them during a robbery.

Court heard that Lyle McCann's blood-stained ball cap was found with a bullet hole in the couple's SUV. DNA that matched Vader's was also on the hat and his fingerprint was on a can of beer in the vehicle.

A friend testified Vader was broke, yet showed up flush with cash and driving an SUV that matched the one owned by the McCanns the day they disappeared.

The defence argued that the DNA evidence was sketchy, that witnesses had lied and that -- with no bodies and no murder weapon -- there is no real proof the McCanns are dead.

Vader, 44, sat expressionless in the prisoner's box as victim impact statements from several McCann family members which painted a picture of an adoring, gentle couple were read in court.

Bret McCann recounted how his family put up posters and billboards, raised reward money and organized searches for his parents when there was still hope they were alive. …

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