Accused B.C. murderer charged in 3 more deaths
Published Monday, October 17, 2011 2:50PM PDT
A 21-year-old man awaiting trial for the death of a blind B.C. teenager is now facing an additional three charges of first-degree murder, Prince George RCMP announced Monday.
Cody Alan Legebokoff is currently in detention in connection with the Nov. 2010 homicide of 15-year-old Loren Donn Leslie of Fraser Lake.
Legebokoff is now charged in connection with the murders of 35-year-old Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35-year-old Cynthia Frances Maas and 23-year-old Natasha Lynn Montgomery.
He was arrested on Friday at the Prince George Regional Correctional Center, where he is currently being held.
Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick said the new charges are the result of a 10-month coordinated investigation called "Project E-Prelude," a joint investigation by the North District Major Crime unit and the Prince George RCMP.
Police believe that Legebokoff acted alone and used social media to meet women.
Investigators say Legebokoff often used online dating to correspond with friends, associates and potential girlfriends. He often used the online handle 1CountryBoy.
Stuchenko, a mother of six from Prince George, was reported missing by her family on Oct. 22, 2009. Her body was found by a passing hiker in a gravel pit four days later. Police say she had likely been there for 10 days.
At the time, investigators said Stuchenko was well known to area police because of her drug use, but was very well liked. Police said she had worked as an escort for several years.
Maas, also a mother, was reported missing on Sept. 23, 2010 because she hadn't been heard from in several weeks. Her body was discovered in a remote area of Prince George several weeks later.
Montgomery, originally from Quesnel, was reported missing on the very same day as Maas. Her body has never been found, although investigators say they are trying very hard to recover her remains.
The body of Loren Leslie was found dumped in the snow just off of Highway 27 in Nov. 2010. Police have never said how she died, but her body was sent to the U.S. for investigation.
Fitzpatrick said all of the victim's families have been notified.
"We have spent the last 24 hours with members of the victims' families and support services have been provided to help them through this difficult time," Fitzpatrick said.
"It was evident by our meeting yesterday; these women were all very vibrant, talented and loving. They were all mothers, daughters, and aunts and possess large extended families who miss them tremendously."
A forensic specialist from Pennsylvania was used to forensically examine evidence from two of the crime scenes.
During the investigation police executed two search warrants on residences associated with Legebokoff. The vehicle he was driving after the murder of Leslie was forensically examined for several weeks.
Earlier this year, police interrogated more than 140 local cab drivers -- even asking for their DNA samples -- in connection with the murders of Maas and Sturchenko.
Investigators say the recent cases are not linked to the Highway of Tears disappearances. Dozens of women have disappeared or been murdered along an 800-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. Many were addicted to drugs or worked in the sex trade.
A tip line has been set up for any information the public may have about the accused. The number 1-877-987-8477 (TIPS). He lived in Lethbridge, Alberta for a short time between June 2008 and Aug. 2009.