Ontario man charged with 1st-degree murder after missing friend turns up dead

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Ontario man charged with 1st-degree murder in addition to other charges
WATCH: Provincial Const. Jackie Beaulieu with the Nottawasaga Detachment of the RCMP told Global News Friday that on Jan., 21, Gabriel Dicecco, from the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio, was arrested and charged. – Feb 2, 2024

Ontario Provincial Police have upgraded the charges against a 25-year-old man to first degree murder after his friend was reported missing and later found dead earlier last month.

On Jan., 21, Gabriel DiCecco, from the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio, was arrested and charged under the Criminal Code for obstructing a peace officer and indignity to a dead body.

On Thursday, police added a new charge of first degree murder.

The charges are in connection to the death of William Schernhammer, 24, from Alliston, Ont.

Police say Schernhammer’s body was found in the area west of Barrie off the 25th Sideroad on Jan. 21., just west of Barrie, Ont.

Schernhammer was reported missing to OPP officers in Nottawasaga after he did not return home on Jan 12.

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He was last seen alive on Jan. 12 at 12:30 a.m. in Alliston.

William Schernhammer, 24, of Alliston, Ont., near Barrie was last week was last seen on Jan. 12. Via Bring William Home Facebook

“I prayed my son William be found. My prayer was answered. I prayed my son William find peace. He now has peace,” Rachelle Schernhammer, William’s mother, wrote in a Facebook post, after his body was recovered.

Schernhammer lived with his girlfriend in Alliston, his mother told Global News earlier this month. His mom said she learned from the girlfriend that William had said he was going out to get cigarettes with a friend, who she named as Gabriel Dicecco, and would be right back.

She said after being seen on the security footage at the Pioneer Gas station in Alliston, his friend told them her son then asked to be dropped off at the corner of Albert Street and Ontario Street to walk home.

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That was the last time he was seen, the Schernhammer family said.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.

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