One week after a murder charge was dropped against the man known as the “Mill Woods rapist,” the daughter of the victim in the case is speaking out.
Theresa Cardinal said she was upset when she learned the second-degree murder charge laid against Dana Michael Fash in her mother’s 2011 killing was dropped.
“I’m kind of mad. I’m sad. I honestly don’t know how to feel towards it because I mentally prepared myself for a trial that I thought was going to put away my mother’s killer,” she said Thursday.
“And to be told that we are not needed for trial anymore kind of sends my head into a million places.”
In December 2016, Fash, now 40, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jeanette Marie Cardinal.
Cardinal’s body was found in an apartment suite on 119 Avenue and 81 Street in February 2011.
Last Wednesday, the charge against Fash — a convicted violent sex offender — was stayed. Alberta Justice said senior Crown prosecutors thoroughly examined the case and determined it “no longer met the prosecution standard of ‘reasonable likelihood of conviction,’ based on changes in the evidence.”
WATCH (Feb. 14, 2019): The man known as the “Mill Woods rapist” is no longer facing a murder charge, and police are issuing a warning to the public about the risk they believe he poses
As a result, Fash was released from custody. In a public warning, police said they believe he “will commit another violent offence against someone while in the community.”
“It makes me feel angry because how could they let somebody like that out back onto the streets?” Cardinal said. “I’m very upset over it.”
Cardinal said she met with the Crown prosecutor and police investigators downtown, where she learned the news.
“They were basically just telling me that they couldn’t proceed with my mother’s case due to the evidence, the lack of evidence that they were getting from everybody,” she added.
She desperately hopes someone will come forward with evidence that could restart the investigation, adding that she doesn’t know if justice will ever be served in her mother’s death.
“I honestly don’t know. I hope so. I really hope that they find the evidence that they need to put him away for the rest of his life. But I can only hope, right?” Cardinal said.
“I’m praying that somebody comes forward with something that will help towards this case.”
Police said Fash is living in the Edmonton area and that he has a “history of breaking and entering residences or other public buildings and sexually assaulting known or unknown adult females within.”
Fash was handed a 12-year sentence in 1997 for sexually assaulting two women. One was a 44-year-old janitor he attacked with scissors in a staff washroom at Malcolm Tweddle Elementary School in Mill Woods. Another was a grandmother he attacked at knifepoint.
Both attacks took place in 1994 when he was 16 years old, but he was tried as an adult.