Preliminary hearing continues for accused murderer

  • Dec. 18, 2013 3:17 p.m.

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of the murder of a Calgary woman whose body was found at a Red Deer recycling facility last year has been taking place in Red Deer this week.

Nathan Desharnais, 25, is charged with second-degree murder and offering indignity to human remains in connection to the death of Talia Nellie Meguinis, 27.

The hearing, which began on Monday, is expected to wrap up in Red Deer court on Thursday.

In February, Desharnais was denied bail and has remained in custody since his arrest.

The body of Meguinis was found at a recycling facility in the Riverside Industrial area on Feb. 22, 2012 after police received a complaint of a deceased female.

Red Deer City RCMP General Investigation Section and Red Deer Forensic Identification Section were called in to assist with the investigation. After further investigation, RCMP said Meguinis was not murdered in the location her body was found.

Desharnais was arrested in Calgary in September 2012. Police have said his arrest was a result of an extensive seven-month investigation that involved the Red Deer RCMP General Investigation Section, Major Crimes Unit, Forensic Identification Unit, Victims Services and the Police Dog Service. The Calgary MCU, the ‘K’ Division Special Tactical Operations, Polygraph Sections in Calgary and Edmonton, the Calgary Police Service, and the Tsuu T’ina police also assisted. There were 40 investigators who were dedicated to this case with more than 25,000 man-hours were spent on the investigation.

At the time of Desharnais’ arrest, police said they believed that he had just met Meguinis the weekend that her body was found as she was traveling back home to Calgary from northern Alberta and stopped in Red Deer to visit family.

At the same time police also added there were many challenges during the investigation.

“Some of the hurdles we encountered from the onset was due to the fact that she was found in a recycling facility and she was unknown to us at the time. Typically when we have a murder investigation we have a starting point and we know who the victim is. We didn’t have that. It took us a few days before we knew her identity so we were playing catch up from the get go,” said Const. Gary Kroeker, during a press conference to inform the media that Desharnais had been arrested in connection to the case.

Police have not released the cause of death saying that the matter is now before the courts.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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