Why all the bod­ies on Bod­kin Rd.?

The London Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - SU­SAN GAM­BLE

It seems like more than a co­in­ci­dence that four bod­ies — all sus­pi­cious deaths, and all from Six Na­tions near Brant­ford — would be found on the same coun­try road south­west of Lon­don, more than 100 kilo­me­tres from home.

Three bod­ies — those of Melissa Trudy Miller, 37, Alan Grant Porter, 33, and Michael Shane Jamieson, 32 — were found last week­end in Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre at the north end of Bod­kin Road near Jones Drive, just out­side of the Oneida Na­tion of the Thames.

The body of Dou­glas Hill, 48, was found just a few kilo­me­tres away at the south end of Bod­kin Road near South­wold in Au­gust 2017.

It turns out there is a con­nec­tion. Post­media News has learned that Miller was Hill’s com­mon-law spouse.

On Oct. 17, a mur­der charge against a fe­male youth in Hill’s death was sud­denly dropped. No in­for­ma­tion is avail­able as to why the pros­e­cu­tion ended.

The tight-lipped OPP crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions branch is say­ing noth­ing and would not con­firm any link be­tween the two grisly Bod­kin Road dis­cov­er­ies.

“At this point, we are treat­ing the lo­ca­tion of the three bod­ies in Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre as not re­lated to the Dou­glas Hill in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre OPP Const. Max Gomez said Fri­day.

“We un­der­stand that on the sur­face it may seem that there are some sim­i­lar­i­ties . . . Right now, we are treat­ing this Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a stand-alone in­ves­ti­ga­tion and con­tinue to work with the Six Na­tions po­lice ser­vice as all the de­ceased are from their com­mu­nity.”

But court records show some eye­brow-rais­ing con­nec­tions.

Miller and Hill were charged to­gether af­ter a high-speed po­lice chase in 2013 when the ve­hi­cle they were in burst into flames af­ter an ac­ci­dent on High­way 3 in Nor­folk County.

Both were charged with theft and Hill was charged with fail­ing to stop for po­lice.

A re­cent On­tario Court pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in Brant­ford for three peo­ple charged with ac­ces­sory af­ter the fact in Hill’s death — all three pleaded not guilty — had tes­ti­mony re­fer­ring to Miller as Hill’s girl­friend or com­mon-law wife.

Those adults were ac­cused of help­ing a youth get rid of Hill’s body by bury­ing it in a shal­low grave on Bod­kin Road.

Charges against Brant­ford’s Holly Mar­tin, and Lori Anne Staats and Ni­cholas Joel Ship­man of Six Na­tions, were all dis­missed last month af­ter the week-long pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing.

Other in­for­ma­tion never re­leased by the po­lice came up in the hear­ing. The court was told that Hill was blud­geoned to death with the claw end of a ham­mer some­time af­ter 11:30 a.m. on June 24, 2017.

Wit­nesses tes­ti­fied that on the day Hill went miss­ing, Ship­man stopped in un­ex­pect­edly at a rel­a­tive’s home about 20 min­utes away from where Hill’s body was later found, and asked to bor­row a shovel.

Ac­cord­ing to the tes­ti­mony, when he and two women re­turned, they and their ve­hi­cle was cov­ered in mud. Ac­cord­ing to the tes­ti­mony, the trio used a gar­den hose to wash down the SUV and them­selves.

Hill’s de­com­pos­ing body was found, eight weeks later, in the grave where an­i­mals had dis­turbed his bones.

The OPP haven’t re­leased how the three peo­ple whose bod­ies were found last Sun­day died, nor have po­lice said how long the bod­ies were there.

“The plan at this point is not to be re­leas­ing a cause of death.” Gomez said, not­ing that in­for­ma­tion is im­por­tant to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The OPP is specif­i­cally seek­ing in­for­ma­tion on sight­ings of a grey 2006 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado pickup in the Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre and Oneida areas be­fore 10 a.m. last Sun­day.

Six Na­tions po­lice are help­ing the OPP and have asked any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.

“In light of this tragic and trau­matic event that has af­fected the Six Na­tions, as well as sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties, Six Na­tions po­lice would like to re­mind ev­ery­one to be re­spect­ful of the fam­i­lies at this time and let them heal,” the force said.

Six Na­tions Chief Ava Hill also asked for pri­vacy for the fam­i­lies in a state­ment Fri­day.

“We are sad­dened to hear of the loss of three of our com­mu­nity mem­bers,” she said.

“Our thoughts now are with the fam­ily mem­bers and our com­mu­nity agen­cies are gath­er­ing to­gether to pro­vide sup­port to the fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity.”

Hill said any­one need­ing that sup­port can call on Gane Yohs Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre on Chiefs­wood Road through­out the week­end.

“We un­der­stand this is an on­go­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the OPP and we en­cour­age them to con­duct as thor­ough an in­ves­ti­ga­tion as pos­si­ble to find the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for this ter­ri­ble crime,” she added.

Oneida Chief Jes­sica Hill couldn’t be reached for com­ment, but Chief My­een­gun Henry of the nearby Chippe­was of the Thames First Na­tion said his com­mu­nity hadn’t heard from po­lice and res­i­dents were anx­ious for more in­for­ma­tion.

“Our com­mu­nity is re­ally ner­vous about it. But we have no in­for­ma­tion,” he said. “Ev­ery­one is ner­vous when we don’t have any an­swers.”

Gomez said there is “no im­mi­nent threat to pub­lic safety.”

“What’s im­por­tant right now is bring­ing jus­tice to the fam­i­lies of those who are de­ceased, and . . . to do that, we need to keep the in­tegrity of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­tact and avoid any hy­poth­e­sis or any in­for­ma­tion that may com­pro­mise the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said. Brant­ford Ex­pos­i­tor

With files by Jane Sims,

The Lon­don Free Press

Pro­vin­cial po­lice are seek­ing in­for­ma­tion on sight­ings of a grey 2006 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado pickup in the Mid­dle­sex Cen­tre and Oneida areas be­fore 10 a.m. last Sun­day.

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