EDMONTON — A beer can, a ruby ring and a cellphone make up the major physical evidence that RCMP believe they have against Travis Vader, accused of killing an elderly couple in July 2010, according to newly released court documents.
Media reports on CBC, CTV and Global say the information came from notes taken during meetings between the Crown and the RCMP.
The documents became public Monday when a judge granted a request from several news organizations to lift a publication ban.
The documents have not been presented or proven in court, nor have the allegations been proven in court.
But they show RCMP believed they found Vader's fingerprint and DNA on a beer can inside the burned-out remains of Lyle and Marie McCann's SUV.
Travis Vader, pictured in an RCMP handout. (Photo: RCMP)
Police also believed Vader had used a cellphone belonging to Lyle and Marie McCann on the day they disappeared in July 2010, suggest the documents.
They also reveal that a man told police Vader had given him a ruby ring that belonged to the McCanns.
He said Vader took it from the motorhome and kept it at a cabin near his father's place, along with "a lot more stuff.''
In addition, the notes suggest an RCMP witness who had been paid $22,000 offered to tell police where the McCanns' bodies are if they gave him more money — and that the prosecution didn't know the man had been paid.
The couple's bodies have never been found, and Vader has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder in their deaths.
In addition to the beer can, court has previously been told that Lyle McCann's hat — with a bullet hole in it — and Marie McCann's blood were found in their burned-out SUV, which was found near Edson, Alta., about two weeks after they had left their home in St. Albert, north of Edmonton, on a trip to B.C.
RCMP investigators search a home near MacKay, Alta, on July 20, 2010, where person of interest, Travis Vader, was apprehended. (Photo: John Ulan/CP)
According to the documents, about two dozen officers posed as members of a criminal organization looking to recruit Vader.
Three played major roles in the fabricated plot designed to collect evidence against him, while another 20 played smaller roles.
Vader was charged with murder in April 2012. But the charges were stayed in 2014, just a few weeks before the case was set to go before a jury when the Crown said it realized Mounties hadn't disclosed all evidence in the case.
The charges were reactivated in December 2014 and a new trial before a judge alone is to start in March.
However, Vader's lawyer has been arguing in court that the charges should be tossed out over abuse of the judicial process.
A judge is expected to rule on the abuse-of-process claim at the end of the month.
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