07/25/2013 09:31 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Man accused in Winnipeg of being serial killer elects to go straight to trial

WINNIPEG - A man accused of being a serial killer has elected to go directly to trial.

The decision by the legal team of Shawn Cameron Lamb to skip a preliminary hearing came as a surprise to many in a Winnipeg courtroom Thursday.

A date for the trial has not yet been set.

Lamb, 53, originally from Sarnia, Ont., was charged last June with second-degree murder in the deaths of three missing aboriginal women.

The bodies of Lorna Blacksmith, 18, and Carolyn Sinclair, 25, had been discovered wrapped in plastic near city garbage bins earlier in the year.

The remains of Tanya Nepinak, 31, have never been found.

She was last seen in September 2011 and police believe her body was put in a garbage bin that was taken to a landfill.

With no information on where a garbage truck emptied that load, police called on an aboriginal elder to select a small section of the sprawling dump for officers to search.

After a week of combing through garbage, the search was called off.

Following Lamb's arrest last year, Winnipeg police set up a national tipline and contacted other police agencies across the country to see if he could be linked to other missing women.

The case also prompted new calls from aboriginal leaders for a national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The provinces and territories have supported the idea but so far the federal government has rejected it.

(CJOB, The Canadian Press)