Andrea Saddleback-Sexsmith told the court “he was skin and bones, gaunt, (had) sores on his mouth. Tired, unkempt.”
Sexsmith testified she saw Vader at an Edmonton home where she lived with his sister Bobbi-Jo. She told court Vader had been on the run for four days.
“When I hugged him he was skin and bones,” she said Wednesday. “He said he was four days starving.”
Watch below: Andrea Saddleback-Sexsmith leaves the Edmonton courthouse Wednesday afternoon
She also testified in court that she never saw Vader do drugs but believed in July 2010 he was using meth.
Sexsmith said she dated Vader from January 2010 until about the end of April 2010.
During cross examination, Vader’s lawyer, Brian Beresh, hammered Sexsmith about her drinking.
Beresh said in 2010 “you were out of control.”
Sexsmith admitted she was drinking during that time, and had been drinking on the job while she worked as a bartender.
“I had some out of control moments,” she said.
Beresh told Sexsmith her assessment of Vader’s condition on July 4, 2010 was not accurate, and that she’s trying to help someone, not Vader.
“You turned against Vader in August 2010,” Beresh said.
Beresh told Sexsmith she was drunk on July 4, 2010, to which Sexsmith yelled “no.”
“I can function and I can remember. I’m very smart. There’s no reason for you to say the testimony I have was untrue or deemed unreliable,” Sexsmith added.
Sexsmith testified she broke off the relationship because Vader was seeing other women, including Amber Williams, who is also scheduled to testify in the trial.
TIMELINE: The key events in the Travis Vader case
Sexsmith maintained some of her statements to police over the years may have been “polluted.”
“I blocked out a lot of that relationship because I didn’t want to be part of it,” Sexsmith said.
Beresh told Sexsmith she’s not on trial but her “reliability” is.
Visibly frustrated, Sexsmith said: “What I want is this nightmare to be over for everybody involved.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Vader’s long-time friend William Nikolyuk, who testified on Friday, was once again in court.
The Crown was given permission to cross examine its own witness because it said Nikolyuk’s testimony was inconsistent with previous interviews given to the RCMP.
It was revealed Wednesday that Nikolyuk told RCMP investigators Vader admitted to stealing the McCanns’ SUV. Nikolyuk said Vader told him there was nobody in the vehicle.
In an August 2010 interview, Nikolyuk told police Vader told him he found the SUV at a rest area near Edson and he drove it around for a few days. He went on to tell investigators Vader said, “I didn’t do nothing to those people. I just stole the wrong vehicle at the wrong time.”
Nikolyuk testified he bought cereal, oatmeal and bread and took it out to Vader behind his home.
In that August 2010 statement, Nikolyuk told the investigators he saw Vader walk out of the long grass behind his home and that Vader told him he was on the run. During his testimony at the trial Nikolyuk denied ever talking to Vader.
Nikolyuk testified he said those things to get the police “off his back.” He said he was on his way to his girlfriend’s funeral and was scared police wouldn’t let him go if he didn’t give a statement.
“I’m a meth addict and I was grieving,” Nikolyuk said.
Nikolyuk will be back in court Thursday morning.
Vader is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann who disappeared after they were seen fuelling up their motorhome at a St. Albert gas station on July 3, 2010. Their bodies were never found.
The trial is expected to last until mid-April.