A second person has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, and two others are being sought for offences including manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder in connection with the 2020 homicide of Grant Edward Norton, London police said Friday.
It brings the total number of individuals charged in relation to Norton’s death so far to five. On Thursday, London police announced that a London woman had been charged with first-degree murder and a London man charged with manslaughter in the case.
In an update Friday, police said that a 29-year-old London man, identified as Wesley Joseph Peters, had been arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence in relation to Norton’s death.
Two others, identified as 24-year-old Zaida Amelia Collin and 50-year-old Joseph William Hodgkin, both of London, were being sought by authorities and had been charged by way of an arrest warrant, police said.
Collin is wanted for manslaughter and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, while Hodgkin is being sought for accessory after the fact to murder and improper/indecent interference with a dead body, police said.
The whereabouts of the pair are unknown, police said, adding that Peters, who is now the second person to be charged with murder in the Norton probe, remains in custody. He was scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
Police announced Thursday that a 37-year-old woman, Ashley Morgan Bourget, had been charged with first-degree murder in the case, while a manslaughter charge had been laid against Adam Alexander Wade, also 37.
Bourget appeared in court Thursday and is scheduled to reappear on June 30. Wade was charged by way of warrant application, according to police. He is currently serving a sentence for unspecified weapons offences, according to a courthouse official.
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The flurry of charges come 11 months after London police located the remains of Norton, a 59-year-old Ingersoll, Ont., resident in a wooded area near Ada and Jacqueline streets in southeast London on July 19, 2020.
A week earlier, on July 12, Norton had been reported missing to police in Waterloo. Six days before that, July 6, was the last time police say he was seen alive. Investigators in London joined the probe on July 13, and it was later determined his last known whereabouts were in London.
Few details have been released so far about the investigation, including how and whether the accused knew Norton. Police have also not said how and when it’s believed Norton died. Court documents obtained by 980 CFPL show Bourqet is accused of having committed first-degree murder “on or about” July 6, the day Norton was last reported seen.
In a statement at the time of the discovery, police said that the remains had been found in such a condition that confirming whether they were human was not possible without a forensic autopsy.
Soon after Norton’s remains were located, police conducted a search and forensic examination of a nearby Adelaide Street building, asking members of the public who had witnessed suspicious activity at or near the address in the two weeks prior to contact them. Court documents list Bourqet’s address as being the same Adelaide Street property.
Last month, police issued an appeal to the public for more information in the case, releasing surveillance images of two people believed to be involved in Norton’s death.
The images show two people leaving Norton’s Audi sedan in an Oliver Street parking lot. Police have not said whether the two pictured are among the five charged.
At the time of his death, Norton was facing charges laid a year earlier in connection with a Niagara-area probe into alleged fraud and theft of construction equipment from Havana Group Incorporated.
According to the Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton mobster Pat Musitano was a minor partner in the company. Musitano was shot to death in Burlington on July 10, 2020, four days after Norton was last seen and two days before he was reported missing to Waterloo police.
Police have not commented on whether Norton and Musitano’s deaths are in any way connected.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.