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Police wondered if Nathan O’Brien could be hiding in Liknes home

Police wondered if Nathan O’Brien could have been hiding in Liknes home court hears
WATCH ABOVE: First responders to the Liknes home, and the forensic investigator, who photographed the home, testified Wednesday at the triple murder trial of Douglas Garland. Nancy Hixt reports.

WARNING: This article contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing.

The officers were told they could be dealing with a possible kidnapping or robbery.

Const. Derek Alexon, an 18-year veteran, testified on the third day of the Douglas Garland triple-murder trial.

Garland, 56, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

The trio disappeared nearly two-and-a-half years ago.

Alexon said police wondered if Nathan, the missing child, was still in the home.

“We were to search the house to see if we could locate Nathan O’Brien who may be hiding in the residence,” he said.

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“Did you find Nathan O’Brien?” prosecutor Shane Parker asked.

“No we didn’t,” Alexon replied.

What officers did find was blood on three levels of the house.

The first officer to go inside, Const. Trevor Matthes, told the court he saw a bloody footprint, large amounts of blood and blood smears on the wall.

In the bedrooms, he found blood. In the hallway–more blood.

Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit.
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit. Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit

“It appeared to me there was almost like drag marks in the blood,” Matthes said.

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READ MORE: Mother of triple murder suspect Douglas Garland says son was an intelligent but unhappy man

The Crown’s theory is Garland held a “petty grudge” against Alvin over a patent that Alvin filed for a pump that Garland did some work on.

The prosecution alleges the three victims were violently taken from their beds, taken to the Garland farm where they were killed and their bodies destroyed.

Wednesday, police detailed the meticulous forensic work done on both the farm and the Liknes home.

Alexon said he found two teeth on the floor that were later sent to a dentist to be examined.

Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit. Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit

Court heard there were two 45-pound dumbbells found in the garage that also appeared to have blood on them. They were also sent away for testing.

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Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit. Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit

Kathy’s toothbrush, Alvin’s razor, and Nathan’s helmet and shoes were sent for DNA matching.

Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit. Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit

The officer also testified he discovered drillmarks in the deadbolt of the side door to the Liknes home.

Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit
Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit. Credit: Calgary Police Forensic Crime Scenes Unit

An expert locksmith will testify in the case Thursday.

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READ MORE: Nathan O’Brien’s mother at Douglas Garland trial: ‘My family’s been murdered’

 

The trial is scheduled for five weeks with 11 men and three women on the jury, including two alternates. An estimated 50 witnesses will testify during the trial.