Mark Twitchell was in custody for more than a year and a half, charged with first-degree murder, when he directed police to a sewer containing the remains of Johnny Altinger, a court in Edmonton heard Tuesday.

Twitchell, 31, is accused of killing Altinger, 38, on Oct. 10, 2008.

The Crown believes Twitchell, an aspiring filmmaker, lured Altinger to a rented garage in south Edmonton by posing as a woman on an online dating site.

Early last June, Twitchell asked through his lawyer to meet with Edmonton homicide detectives at the Edmonton Remand Centre, court heard Tuesday.

When detectives arrived, Twitchell passed over a single piece of paper, folded in half, Det. Brad Madrusiak testified.

There was no further discussion and the officers left, he said.

On the paper was a Google map of a north Edmonton neighbourhood. Below the map, Twitchell had written: "Location of John Altinger's remains."

Also written were detailed directions to a sewer grate in an alley, followed by Twitchell's signature.

The next day a recovery team found the remains of a human body, Madrusiak said.

Medical examiner Bernard Bannach testified last week that a torso with clear evidence of dismemberment by a saw and a sharp knife was recovered.

Crown prosecutor Lawrence Van Dyke told the jury Twitchell received nothing for the information leading to the remains, but asked that his meeting with police receive no publicity. The police agreed.

Police came very close to finding Altinger's remains on their own, after following clues from a document found on Twitchell's computer called SK Confessions, a document the Crown calls Twitchell's diary, testified Det. Dale Johnson. Their search led them to examine sewers less than a block away. 

The Crown closed its case Tuesday after 16 days of testimony and 111 exhibits in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench.

On Wednesday the jury will learn if the defence will present any evidence, which could include putting Twitchell on the witness stand.

 

With files from the CBC's Janice Johnston