Two arrested after car belonging to missing SMU student found in Ontario
Two people who were subletting Loretta Saunders’ apartment have been arrested after a car belonging to the missing Halifax university student was found in Ontario.
Saunders, who is three months pregnant, was last seen Thursday at her apartment in Halifax’s Cowie Hill neighbourhood. The 26-year-old was in contact with a friend on social media Friday afternoon, but she hasn’t been in contact with friends or family since.
Her family says it is very unusual for her to be out of touch with loved ones.
“It’s not normal for my sister to not talk to me dad every day. That’s his princess,” said her brother, Edmund Saunders via phone Tuesday afternoon.
“She don’t go a day without calling him. She wouldn’t hurt him like that.”
Police say Saunders’ car was found in Harrow, Ont., located about 40 minutes outside Windsor, Tuesday evening.
Victoria Henneberry, 28, and her boyfriend Blake Leggette, 25, were arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police and charged with possession of stolen property.
Both are known to police in Halifax and Calgary. They appeared in court in Windsor on Wednesday.
“The two individuals arrested were previously residing in Halifax,” says Const. Pierre Bourdages of the Halifax Regional Police.
“The woman had a warrant for failing to appear here in Halifax, while the man had a warrant for an arrest in Calgary.”
CTV news has confirmed that the names of the people arrested match the names of a man and woman to whom Saunders had just rented her apartment in January.
Saunders’ boyfriend says she 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.
Investigators confirm they are now treating Saunders’ disappearance as suspicious.
An aspiring lawyer from Newfoundland and Labrador, Saunders has been a student at Saint Mary’s University for the past three years. She just finished writing a thesis about murdered and missing women.
The university released a statement about her disappearance Wednesday:
“Saint Mary’s University is extremely concerned about the safety and welfare of our student, Loretta Saunders,” said a university spokesperson.
“We are providing every assistance we can to the police as they investigate this matter, and we urge anyone with information about Loretta to come forward to the police. We want Loretta to be safely back with her family, and with us.”
Members of Saunders’ family are now leaving their homes in Labrador and on the west coast to come to Halifax.
“I’m not sitting here any longer waiting for to hear bad news about my sister. I’m coming and I’m going looking,” said Edmund on Tuesday.
Saunders' sister, Delilah Terriak, has already arrived in Halifax from British Columbia. She says she is going to put up posters across the city as she searches for answers about her missing sister.
Saunders is described as an Inuk woman with light brown hair. She is five-foot-seven and weighs 120 pounds.
Her car is a blue 2000 Toyota Celica with Newfoundland and Labrador licence plate HCP 543. Police say the car has a loud muffler and a spoiler at the back.
Anyone who may have seen Saunders or her car is asked to contact police.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell and Kelland Sundahl