ALBERTA

Undercover officers testify accused wanted help disposing of severed head

10/10/2014 08:59 EDT | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Two undercover officers have testified that a man accused of the gruesome slaying of an Alberta senior asked them to help him get rid of a severed head.

The first-degree murder trial of Tim Engel has previously been told the torso of Otto (Bunty) Loose, 77, was discovered by police in the snowy woods west of Bragg Creek, Alta., in January 2012.

His hands were missing and his head was found several kilometres away.

Court was told Engel was arrested for a breach of previous release conditions and police put an undercover officer in his cell in Vulcan, Alta., posing as someone there for unpaid fines.

The officer feigned being nervous and told Engel there was something in his vehicle that he was worried about police finding.

After they were released, Engel accepted a ride from his cellmate and another officer posing as his friend.

The second officer told the first that he had taken steps to clean up his mess and had paid someone to get rid of the contraband in his vehicle. He then told Engel that he could "fix" things for people for a price.

That's when Engel told the officers he needed help disposing of a vehicle and the head, providing directions to where Loose's head was later discovered.

"I need that head gone," the officer said Engel told him, adding the "scary part" was how close it was to a road.

The next day, Engel started texting the undercover officer with whom he had shared the cell. He asked about their trip the night before, and the officer responded that it was "interesting."

Engel quickly replied that it shouldn't have been as there shouldn't be anything there. He then asked to meet them in Claresholm.

The two members turned up at the meeting with two more undercover officers, but said Engel immediately started to recant his story, saying that he only told them what he had the night before because he thought they were cops.

He then insisted he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Loose.

The identity of the undercover officers is protected under a publication ban.

(CHLB)

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