NEWS

Laura Babcock Case: Search Of Dellen Millard Farm Provided No Evidence Of Missing Woman, Police Say

06/04/2013 12:22 EDT | Updated 08/04/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - A missing 23-year-old woman was romantically involved with a man recently charged in the murder of a Hamilton father, police said Tuesday as they appealed to the public for information on her disappearance.

Laura Babcock was last seen on June 26, 2012 and was reported missing by her ex-boyfriend two and a half weeks later.

Her case has received renewed interest ever since police learned she had been in contact with Dellen Millard, a Toronto man who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma.

Police said a search of an "area of interest" on Millard's Waterloo, Ont., farm — where Bosma's remains were found last month — turned up "no evidence" in their investigation of Babcock's disappearance.

They did confirm, however, that phone records show Babcock was in touch with Millard on July 3, 2012.

Authorities also said the two had a relationship of sorts.

"They were romantically linked although I would not say that they had a traditional dating relationship," Det. Mike Carbone said Tuesday.

Police revealed that Babcock had been involved in the sex trade as an "Internet escort" for several months before she went missing, although they don't know if Millard ever used her services.

Authorities are now conducting "a comprehensive review" of Babcock's phone records and are asking people she might have contacted before disappearing to get in touch with police.

As the link between Babcock and Millard appears to grow stronger, police made it a point to stress that the Toronto woman's missing person's case had not been neglected in the past.

"In 2012 Dellen Millard would have not raised anyone's interest," said Carbone when asked why Babcock's phone calls to Millard had not raised any red flags.

"The investigation was thorough and employed all of the traditional methods used in any missing persons case."

Carbone added that police haven't spoken to Millard about Babcock but expect to "at some point."

Police are also taking another look at the suicide of Millard's father, who died Nov. 29, 2012, but aren't providing any details on that investigation.

Millard's family has a storied past in aviation. When Millard was 14 he became the youngest Canadian to fly solo in both an airplane and a helicopter. His grandfather and father were also pilots.

Millard is facing charges of first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle in the death of Bosma, who did not return after leaving his home May 6 for the test drive of a truck he was trying to sell online.

His remains were found burned beyond recognition at Millard's farm, located about 50 kilometres from Bosma's home.

Another man, Mark Smich, 25, is also charged with first-degree murder in the Bosma case.

Police have said Smich and Millard know each other.

Authorities are still looking for at least one other person in the Bosma case, as a dark blue GMC Yukon belonging to Millard was seen on video following Bosma's truck as he left his home on the test drive.

That person has been urged by police to turn themselves in.

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