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William Sandeson murder trial hears police searched family farm looking for body

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WATCH ABOVE: The jury in the first-degree murder trial for William Sandeson heard evidence from two police officers on Wednesday. Global’s Natasha Pace reports – May 17, 2017

The jury in the first-degree murder trial for William Sandeson heard Wednesday that police searched a farm in Lower Truro, N.S., for three days in the summer of 2015 looking for a body.

Sandeson stands accused of murdering Taylor Samson, 22, whose remains have never been located.

Police laid murder charges four days after Taylor Samson was reported missing in August 2015.

READ: Jury hears William Sandeson told roommate not to come home on night of alleged murder

Staff Sgt. Andre Habib, a member of the Halifax Regional Police, told the court he participated in three searches connected to Samson’s disappearance.

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At the farm, which is owned by Sandeson’s family, Habib said ground search and rescue volunteers and police broke the property up into sections to search it. He testified he spent a lot of time sifting through cow manure after a cadaver dog indicated there may have been something there.

Habib said a cadaver dog also signaled there could have been something in a small pond on the property so police drained the pond and searched it. However, nothing was located.

While police didn’t find a body at the farm, they did find some items of interest.

Det.-Const. Illya Nielsen testified on Tuesday that police located a blue Adidas bag which smelled like decomposition, and two garbage bags inside a refrigerated ice cream truck at the farm.

Police and Ground Search & Rescue searched a Lower Truro, N.S. property for three days in August 2015.
Police and Ground Search & Rescue searched a Lower Truro, N.S. property for three days in August 2015. Cory McGraw/Global News

READ: Court hears bag found in ice cream truck at Sandeson farm smelled like decomposition

Habib testified he was present when police officers used a trajectory kit at Sandeson’s Henry Street apartment.

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He said he also participated in a search at an apartment on Chestnut Street, where Sandeson’s younger brother lived. Twenty pounds of marijuana was seized from that residence.

The court also heard testimony from RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison, who was one of the officers to question Sandeson following his arrest.

Allison told the court about his investigative techniques and said he used a package of interrogation props — which included photos from Samson’s Facebook page, a series of text messages exchanged between Sandeson and Samson, and a copy of the Hippocratic Oath — to help him while he was questioning Sandeson.

READ MORE: William Sandeson says during interrogation video intruders may have shot Taylor Samson

Allison testified that Sandeson’s demeanor changed several times during the time he spoke with him, with the 24-year-old appearing calm, crying and at some points almost inconsolable.

The trial continues Thursday at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax with the seven-man, seven-woman jury expected to hear more Crown evidence.

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