10/08/2014 12:21 EDT | Updated 12/07/2014 05:59 EST

Trial begins for man accused in gruesome slaying of southern Alberta senior

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - The Crown contends a man accused in the gruesome death of a 77-year-old man confessed his crime to undercover officers.

The prosecution delivered its opening statement on Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of Tim Engel, who is accused of killing and dismembering Otto (Bunty) Loose.

Prosecutor David Labrenz told the jury that Engel asked the undercover officers to help him dispose of evidence, admitted slitting Loose's throat and even provided specific details as to where he left the body after dismembering it.

Labrenz also acknowledged that the following day Engel recanted to the undercover officers, saying another man did it and that he was just pulled along.

But Labrenz said Engel later admitted to the killing again and agreed to provide a re-enactment of the crime.

The defence declined to make an opening statement.

Loose was reported as missing from his home just outside Vulcan, Alta., on January 9, 2009, and his vehicle later turned up in Calgary.

A lead investigator in the case took the stand Tuesday to explain that at first police looked into it as a missing person's case, saying a review of Loose's financial records showed he had written a $10,000 cheque to the accused.

Police arrested Engel for a breach of previous release conditions and put an undercover officer in his cell posing as someone there for unpaid fines.

The jury was told Engel's body was found in a wooded area near Claresholm and that officers were drawn to the site by the sound of crows.