A 45-year-old Norfolk County man is in custody, charged with first-degree murder in the discovery of human remains east of Port Burwell, Ont. in May, police announced Monday.
The remains belong to a Mississauga man missing since 2002, police said.
The May 6 discovery along Lakeshore Line near Stafford Road, just north of the Lake Erie shoreline, prompted a heavy and lengthy police presence, but yielded few answers for area residents in the weeks afterward.
Police were seen lifting a refrigerator and body separately from the beach using an OPP helicopter at the time of the discovery, the London Free Press reported.
Days later, police arrested and charged a 22-year-old Norfolk County man, Samuel Waters, with indignity to human remains in the case.
On Monday, police said officers arrested Waters’ 45-year-old father, Chad Reu-Waters, charging him with first degree murder and indignity to a dead body.
Police also identified the remains as that of Ashley Max Domenic Pereira, a 33-year-old Mississauga man they said went missing in March 2002.
“The substantial passage of time between the disappearance of the deceased and the discovery of human remains presented investigators with significant investigative challenges,” police said in a statement.
A Peel Regional Police spokesperson told 980 CFPL there was a missing persons report on file for Pereira, but it was filed by family members in February of 2014.
“Mr. Pereira left the family residence on his own accord back in 2002 so the family didn’t file till 2014 due to not hearing from him in so long,” the spokesperson said by email.
The spokesperson had no further information to explain why the missing persons report was filed so long after his reported disappearance, referring those questions to Pereira’s family.
Many details about the case remain unclear, including when Pereira died and what his connection may have been, if any, to the accused. It also remains unclear how long the remains had been along the lake shore before they were discovered.
“Members of the OPP Elgin County Crime Unit, and Forensic Identification Services, under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are continuing this investigation,” police said.
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