Southern Alberta Newspapers
Three RCMP officers involved in the missing persons investigation of Alfred Belyea took to the witness stand on Jan. 11 in the second-degree murder trial of Deborah Belyea, who stands accused in the homicide of her husband.
Redcliff RCMP Sgt. Michael Courty, who was the acting sergeant in command, and Sgt. Alan Rivard told the court they were able to discover human remains of who they believed to be Alfred after receiving a handwritten note that included a map that was discovered by the couple’s eldest daughter Trina, who travelled to Alberta to search for her missing father.
While staying at Belyea’s Suffield home, Trina discovered the letter in the early morning of Oct. 15 that was in her mother’s handwriting and included a hand-drawn map with rough directions to Piapot, Sask.
“The map and parts of the letter referenced Piapot, Saskatchewan,” Sgt. Rivard told the court.
Trina gave the letter to RCMP and that morning Courty and Rivard immediately travelled to a rural location marked on the map, roughly five minutes south of Piapot, after receiving clearance from Maple Creek RCMP, who were unable to assist with the investigation at the time.
Upon arrival, officers told the court they discovered a green municipal garbage bin with what appeared to be human remains lying on its side in front of one of five out buildings on an abandoned rural property.
Upon further investigation a body was discovered wrapped in a blue blanket with a white rope tied around it inside the garbage bin. Another grey blanket was beside the body. The head was covered by a garbage bag with duct tape.
Police also discovered two large Tupperware lids, weather siding strips, an empty antifreeze bottle and an empty unlabeled bottle all with red staining believed to be blood, as well as two empty A&W drink cups inside the garbage bin.
The garbage bin was also stained with what is believed to be blood.
Police also discovered a roll of duct tape with red stains along the outer wall of the outbuilding as well as four area matts inside the building. One of the four area matts had red staining on it.
A tied garbage bag was also discovered along the side of the building that was leaking red fluids and organic matter police believed was from a human.
Police also discovered several tire tracks leading up to the garbage bin with the deceased body.
The court was shown several photos of the rural crime scene during the third day of the scheduled nine-day trial.
While photos of the deceased were shown to the court, Deborah could be seen wiping tears from her eyes and frequently staring down at the ground.
Const. Anthony Stone (formerly Anthony Unger) was the seeing manager with the RCMP major crimes unit at the time and told the court he arrived on the scene in Piapot later in the afternoon on Oct. 15.
While processing the crime scene police also speculated the victim was missing arms, but would not be able to confirm until an autopsy was performed because the body was wrapped in a blue blanket and could not be tampered with at the crime scene.
“On closer inspection of the bag (that was wrapped around the head) where there should be a shoulder, it was flat. A shoulder should be present,” Stone told the court.
The following day on Oct. 16, Stone seized a Volkswagen Gulf believed to be the car Deborah drove, as well as other vehicles on the property that included a pickup and trailer.
While executing a search of Deborah’s property, Stone told the court he could only find a municipal blue recycling bin but was unable to find its green garbage counterpart.
On that day Stone told the court he was also involved in processing a garbage bag filled with bloody female clothing that was seized by Medicine Hat police from Deborah’s friend Shandel Dupal.
Dupal told the court she received the bag from Deborah during a short visit on Thanksgiving Monday, after Deborah asked her to take the bag and dispose of it in an outdoor garbage bin. Dupal instead took the bag home and placed it on her garage floor for several days before deciding to open it, then reported it to police.
The court also heard from forensic toxicology specialist Jacqueline Nack, who provided a toxicology report taken from Alfred’s remains.
Nack said the report showed he had traces of morphine and codeine as well as the sleep-inducing drug found in Benadryl and levels of acetone.
Also found were several other drugs that can induce drowsiness and decreased alertness in a person.
However, Nack says lab results are unable to confirm how much of each drug was present in his system.
Nack also provided the court clarity on the effects of a variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs found in Alfred’s report, as well as providing information on how quickly these drugs become undetectable in human blood and urine.
Deborah and Alfred both have medical issues. Deborah requires an oxygen tank while Alfred was dealing with pancreatic issues before he was killed.
The trial continued Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom No. 4 at the Court of King’s Bench.