HAMILTON – An intern at an aviation company owned by one of Tim Bosma’s accused killers testified Thursday that he vomited after realizing he had discovered the dead man’s truck parked inside an airport hangar.
Arthur Jennings said he was shocked when he saw the pickup truck that was “identical” to one police and media reports had said belonged to Bosma, who disappeared on May 6, 2013, after going on a test drive with two men.
“My exact words to myself were: ‘Oh my god, could that be the truck?”‘
He would later learn it was the truck that nearly 150 police officers from across southern Ontario were searching for.
WATCH: Dellen Millard told employees to stay away from plane hangar day after Bosma disappearance
Jennings was doing a four-month co-op at Millardair, an aviation company owned by Dellen Millard.
Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, from Oakville, Ont., have both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Bosma’s death.
Jennings said Bosma’s disappearance was big news in Hamilton, where he lives, which is why he knew details about the missing man’s vehicle.
On May 8, a day after Millard told all employees to not show up for work due to “airport politics” – Jennings said he came across the truck in the hangar at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
Jennings said the truck’s interior was stripped, except for the rear seat, and it sat on a green tarp with paint cans nearby. There were no licence plates.
But he kept to himself that day and continued working on a trailer for Millard.
“I kept looking at that truck and thinking of that poor man and hoping that Dell hasn’t gotten himself into something – I was also concerned for Dell,” Jennings said, referring to Millard.
He went home and spoke to his wife. He said he was confused and unsure what to do. It was further complicated because the man at Millardair who got him the job was also his son-in-law.
The next morning, on May 9, he went back to work at the hangar and was alone, he said, so he examined the truck. He photographed the vehicle identification number, snapped a picture of the truck and then called Crimestoppers.
He said he asked Crimestoppers if it was Bosma’s truck. The operator, he said, told him to call back in 45 minutes.
“Yes, it is the truck,” Jennings recalled the operator saying on that return call. “Please tell us where it is.”
“I went in shock, walked outside and went inside my pickup truck and vomited,” he said.
He phoned his wife. Panic set in. But he said he calmed himself, returned to work and made it through the day.
When he returned to work the next day, Jennings said he noticed the black pickup truck was gone. Sometime later that day, he called police and told them what he knew.
Jurors also heard testimony Thursday from a Toronto man who said he went on a test drive of his Dodge Ram truck – similar to Bosma’s – with two men on May 5, 2013.
One of the lead detectives on the case testified earlier they found Igor Tumanenko because he was contacted by the same Toronto-area phone number as Bosma.
Tumanenko said he remembered seeing the word “ambition” tattooed on the taller man’s wrist “where a watch would be” and that the “shorter guy” in the back was “quiet as a fish.”
Tumanenko told the men he was familiar with the truck’s diesel engine from his days in the Israeli army.
“There was a pause when he sit in driver seat,” Tumanenko said, referring to the tall man that was now driving his truck at the entrance of Highway 407, just north of Toronto.
“Shorter guy (in the back) asked ‘what did you do in Israel army?”‘ Tumanenko told court.
“I look at him and said ‘you don’t want to know what I did there.”‘
Tumanenko said the dynamic changed in the truck after that.
Under cross examination from one of Millard’s lawyers, Nadir Sachak, Tumanenko said he didn’t tell police at the time about the dynamic changing and that it didn’t really worry him.
When the test drive ended, the taller guy said the price was a little over his budget, Tumanenko testified.
Court heard that Smich has admitted to being in Tumanenko’s truck during that test drive.
The trial resumes on Monday.
© 2016 The Canadian Press