WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Family of the victims were moved to tears and some jurors were visibly disturbed as graphic images were shown Monday at the triple-murder trial of Douglas Garland.
Peregrine Aerial Surveys pilot Paul Gagnon took photos over the Garland property just days after Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents disappeared. He showed court disturbing photos taken with a high tech $1.5-million camera.
Garland, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Nathan and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes. The trio was last seen June 29, 2014 after an estate sale in their southwest Calgary home.
Gagnon was flying over the Garland property in the Airdrie area on July 1 and 2, 2014.
The photographer showed court photos near the far south outbuildings on the Garland farm and described what appeared to be bodies–one 1.9 metres in size, one 1.7 metres and one 0.7 metres.
Gagnon also captured an image near the greenhouse at the burn barrel. Court heard it appeared smoke was rising from the barrel. The photo also showed what appeared to be a shadow of a person standing near the barrel.
In the Crown’s opening statement, prosecutor Vicki Faulkner said the photos were found through “dumb luck.”
A sudden break was requested during the pilot’s testimony, when the family of the three victims became emotional.
Prior to Gagnon’s testimony, one of the jurors was dismissed after their son passed away suddenly Thursday. Thirteen jurors remain.
Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of Douglas Garland’s murder trial
Court heard four days after Nathan and his grandparents were last seen alive, police identified a suspicious vehicle on CCTV–a green pickup truck.
The video was taken from a residence just a few doors down from the Liknes’ house in southwest Calgary.
Calgary Police Const. Gerald Bouchard was the officer in charge of collecting and viewing the video.
He said between 50 and 60 different homes and businesses were canvassed by police looking for CCTV with the focus between June 29, 2014 at 10 p.m. and June 30 at 10 a.m.
He said he was “just looking for anything out of the ordinary…it was really anything that was suspicious.”
Bouchard explained he viewed some videos 100 times and at one point his focus was soley on the green truck.
The jury was shown CCTV as he described his findings. He said a green pickup truck was seen on MacLeod Trail at around 3 a.m. June 30, 2014. Bouchard said he was able to follow its movements to near the Liknes home where it eventually stopped.
He said he then saw a “figure walking in westbound direction on the sidewalk” near the home.
Bouchard testified two minutes later, a figure can be seen on CCTV walking back to the green truck, then one minute later back toward the Liknes home at 3:20 a.m.
Nearly two hours, later Bouchard said a figure is seen walking to the green truck and leaving the area.
CCTV video shown in court follows the movements of the green truck leaving the Liknes neighbourhood onto Macleod Trail, then onto Glenmore to Deerfoot northbound.
Bouchard said he noted “there was something large and white in the back of the box” and testified the same truck was tracked back into city at approximately 7:20 a.m.