Police arrest 2 men in connection to missing couple
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Monday, July 19, 2010 10:06PM EDT
Police have arrested two men in connection to the disappearance of an elderly Alberta couple, including a 38-year-old who has been called a person of interest by officers.
Travis Edward Vader was arrested early Monday at a residence near Niton Junction, Alta., about an-hour-and-a-half drive west of Edmonton.
An RCMP emergency response team, the Edmonton police tactical unit and the fugitive apprehension team were all on hand for the early-morning arrest.
A second man, who hasn't been named, was also arrested at the residence. Police did not explain the second man's connection to the case, but they said he was being questioned.
Vader, a former oil worker with a criminal record, was wanted on a number of outstanding warrants related to firearms and property offences at the time of his arrest. He was taken into custody without incident.
Neighbour Ian Kennedy said he woke up in the early hours of the morning to police lights flashing off the walls of his home.
"Two o'clock this morning I got up and lights were reflecting all over the walls, so I came out and on the highway they had two cruisers blocking off the road here," Kennedy told CTV News.
Police said the location of Vader's arrest will be the subject of a "continuing investigation."
Police were to question Vader about the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann -- an elderly couple from St. Alberta, Alta., who last spoke to their family on July 3.
RCMP Sgt. Tim Taniguchi would not say exactly why Vader is a person of interest in the case.
"The investigation has revealed that Mr. Vader may have information that's significant to the missing person case," Taniguchi told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.
The McCanns were due to make their way to a campground near Chilliwack, B.C., where they were to meet up with family later in the month.
Two days after they last spoke to their family, the McCanns' motorhome was found on fire in a wooded area near Edson, Alta., on July 5.
After tracing the registration papers back to the McCanns, police went to their home in St. Albert, Alta., and attempted to contact them. But there was no answer and police did not follow up with family.
Five days later, the McCanns were supposed to pick up their daughter and granddaughter from the airport in Abbotsford, B.C. But they didn't show up.
"So the daughter got worried, she filed the missing-persons report and then finally the search was launched," CTV's Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks said.
Days later, a father-and-daughter in Prince George, B.C. walked into their local RCMP detachment to say they had seen an SUV matching the description of the vehicle owned by the missing McCanns -- a light-green Hyundai Tucson with the licence plate ZPK 289.
But officials at the detachment failed to get the tipsters' phone numbers.
When police realized the tip might be important, they issued a public statement urging the tipsters to return to the detachment.
The tipsters did come back to speak to police and an officer in the detachment was placed on administrative leave as the case is reviewed.
On the weekend, police acknowledged finding the missing Hyundai Tucson which was considered to be a "potential crime scene." Police confirmed Monday that they had completed their search of the recovery site and said the SUV had been examined by the Forensic Identification Unit.
Vader will appear in an Alberta court Tuesday on the original charges he faces.
With files from The Canadian Press