A 19-year-old man from Elk Point is facing a charge of second degree murder after RCMP discovered human remains near Kehewin, which at this time RCMP believe to be the remains of a missing woman from Bonnyville.
Mary Ella Jane Corbiere, 76, was last seen on or about Oct. 2, according to a Bonnyville RCMP press release. On Oct. 11, Bonnyville RCMP began a missing person investigation after receiving a call from concerned family members. A combined investigation involving Bonnyville RCMP, St. Paul RCMP Major Crimes, St. Paul Identification Services and Edmonton RCMP Major Crimes Unit resulted in the murder charge pressed against Jesse Colton Leppanen.
Leppanen appeared in Bonnyville Provincial Court on Nov. 16, at which time the judge advised him to get a lawyer. His next court appearance is Dec. 7, where he will appear via CCTV video conference.
An autopsy on the discovered human remains took place in the Edmonton Medical Examiner’s Office on Nov. 17. Doris Stapleton, a media relations officer with RCMP K Division, said that following the autopsy, investigators are “cautiously confident” the remains are those of Corbiere, but further DNA testing is required to be 100 per cent certain of those results. The cause of death remains unknown, she said.