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Shannon Madill's friend shocked husband of actress is charged with murder

07/06/2015 10:21 EDT | Updated 07/06/2016 05:59 EDT
Dustin Milne, a friend of actress Shannon Madill, said he spent lots of time with Joshua Burgess, and is shocked the 29-year-old is charged with second-degree murder after the remains of Burgess's wife of seven months were found in their Calgary home.

"It was a pretty big shock because I spent a lot of time with Josh during the investigation and didn't get any sense of that from him," Milne said of Burgess, who was charged Sunday. "It's one of those things, like, 'Wow, how did you not pick up on that?'"

Milne, who met Madill, an actress and comedian, through another friend, had also worked with the 25-year-old in the acting field. Since she was reported missing on Dec.1, Milne said he has kept in contact with her family as a spokesman for them.

Family members have mixed emotions after learning of the devastating news, Milne said.

"Without having a body, it has been rough on them," he said.

"As you can imagine, there is relief that they have a body, and they're bringing closure to this and they can carry on with a funeral. But at the same time, obviously sad because that hope that she was just in Toronto, or just off pursuing acting is obviously now lost."

Police discovered Madill's remains Friday on the property of the home she and her husband shared in the 1900 block of Spiller Road, in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood of Ramsay.

"It transitioned from a missing-person investigation to a homicide investigation within the last week," said Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm of the Calgary police homicide unit.

No history of domestic conflict

Chisholm did not specify where the body was found.

Police dug up part of the home's backyard on Sunday as they continued to execute a search warrant.

"Obviously, a body located within a residence that is now six months, seven months old, there would have had to be some form of concealment," Chisholm said.

Police were not aware of any history of domestic conflict between Burgess and Madill. 

Milne confirmed the couple was living together when Madill went missing, and there were no outward signs of trouble — "nothing outside of normal marriage stuff for the first year," said Milne.

Burgess is set to appear in court on Monday.

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