December 17, 2015 1:47 pm
Updated: December 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Murder charges laid in double homicide in Grande Prairie

WATCH ABOVE: A Grande Prairie man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two Alberta women. Shallima Maharaj reports.

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EDMONTON — A 28-year-old Grande Prairie man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two women who were reported missing earlier this month.

Mark Phillips was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of 24-year-old Amber Dawn Diebert and 30-year-old Jody Michelle Topilko.

Diebert’s body was found in a remote rural area northwest of Grande Prairie on Dec.11. She was last seen on Dec. 8 and reported missing on Dec. 10.

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READ MORE: Grande Prairie RCMP suspect foul play after woman’s body found

Topilko was last seen on Nov. 29 and reported missing on Dec. 8. RCMP confirmed Thursday that Topilko was found dead in a rural area outside Grande Prairie.

Police said the bodies of Diebert and Topilko were found within a few kilometres of one another in a rural area northwest of Grande Prairie.

Officers said the women were known to each other through social circles, and they were both somehow linked to Phillips, but RCMP would not release details of the relationship.

“We have, subsequent to that investigation, identified one person that linked them besides their own association and we arrested that man, Mark Phillips, yesterday,” Insp. Gibson Glavin with Alberta RCMP said Thursday.

“We came to believe that there was much more than just an association between Amber Diebert and Jody Topilko and that this gentleman, Mark Phillips, had been with them both at some point.”

Glavin said there is no indication Diebert and Topilko were “random” victims.

Phillips is scheduled to appear in Grande Prairie Provincial Court on Monday.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams said Phillips was charged earlier this year in connection with one of Grande Prairie’s largest drug seizures.

28-year-old Mark Phillips.

Credit: Mark Phillips' Facebook page

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