Police say body of Loretta Saunders has been found
Police in Halifax say the body of a missing university student has been located and investigators are treating the case as a homicide.
Police say the body of Loretta Saunders was found in the median off Route 2 of the TransCanada Highway near Salisbury, N.B. around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Forensic investigators from both the Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP in New Brunswick are in the process of retrieving her remains.
The highway has been reduced to one lane of traffic near the scene.
Police say they have identified suspects in the case and are not looking for anyone else. Charges are anticipated.
“As with any homicide, murder charges would be contemplated, to which level, it’s really too early to make that determination right now,” Const. Pierre Bourdages of the Halifax Regional Police told CTV News Wednesday evening.
“It’s been a very long investigation. It’s a very tragic loss. We’ve had tremendous support from family and friends here in Halifax, so it’s very tragic.”
Bourdages wouldn’t say what led investigators to the highway in New Brunswick.
An aspiring lawyer from Newfoundland and Labrador, Saunders had been a student at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax for the past three years. She was set to graduate in May.
The Inuk woman, who was three months pregnant, had just finished writing a thesis about murdered and missing aboriginal women.
Saunders was last seen alive at her apartment in Halifax’s Cowie Hill neighbourhood on Feb. 13. She was reported missing Feb. 17.
Ontario Provincial Police found Saunders’ car in Harrow, located near Windsor, Ont., Feb. 18.
Blake Leggette, 25, and Victoria Henneberry, 28, were arrested and taken into custody in Windsor. Leggette arrived in Halifax from Windsor Sunday evening while Henneberry was brought to Halifax Tuesday evening.
Police say Leggette and Henneberry each face a charge of theft of a motor vehicle. They remain incarcerated in Halifax.
Saunders’ boyfriend Yalcin Surkultay tells CTV News the names of the people arrested match the names of a man and woman to whom Saunders had just rented her apartment in January.
Surkultay says Saunders was living with him at a different location in Halifax and that she met the tenants through Kijiji. He says she was on her way to the apartment to collect overdue rent money when he last saw her.
Bourdages wouldn’t confirm whether Leggette and Henneberry are considered suspects in Saunders’ death.
Leggette is due back in court on Friday for a bail hearing. Henneberry is due in court on Thursday.