Tim Bosma’s widow Sharlene was in the front row of a Hamilton courtroom Friday to get a look at the woman police allege tried to help one of her husband’s accused killers after the homicide was committed.
Christina Noudga, who was charged Thursday with being an accessory after the fact in the Bosma case, made her first court appearance this morning.
Noudga, 21, is the third person to be charged after Bosma's burned remains were found on a Waterloo-area farm almost a year ago. The 32-year-old man was last seen by his wife when he left his Ancaster, Ont., home to take two men on a test drive of a pickup truck he had for sale.
Noudga has been identified as being the girlfriend of Dellen Millard, 28, who is one of two men facing first-degree murder charges in Bosma's death.
She was led into court in leg shackles, wearing a brown jacket and a light green shirt with her long hair down.
She appeared nervous in court, and could be seen biting her upper lip and wringing her hands. Noudga stared straight ahead and only spoke to Justice of the Peace J. Woloschuk to state her name and say she understood the charge against her. No family or friends appeared to be in the courtroom.
- READ MORE: Who is Dellen Millard, the accused in the Tim Bosma case?
- READ MORE: 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
Sharlene Bosma sat in the front row of the courtroom, flanked by her late husband’s parents, Hank and Mary. She stared at Noudga the entire time, but the two did not appear to make eye contact.
Bosma was resolute inside the courtroom, but broke down outside, quietly crying by a window.
“I always say that everybody has so much that they can take, and I’m reaching the limit,” she said. “And I just hope that this is it. That we’re done now.
“I’m not sure that I can take any more surprises.”
Extremely serious offence: Crown attorney
Noudga remains in custody, and is due to appear in court again on May 5. Crown attorney Anthony Leitch told CBC News that Noudga’s bail hearing has to be handled in Superior Court because of the seriousness of the offence.
“Only a handful of offences are handled this way,” he said. The prosecution will be requesting the court deny her bail, he added.
Leitch said the charge against Noudga relates to an allegation that she tried to help Millard "escape" on May 9, 2013. He would not elaborate as to what was meant by escape, or from whom. Police had at one time speculated there was a third person involved in Bosma’s abduction and slaying, but Leitch said Noudga likely had no part in it.
Bosma disappeared on May 6 and his remains were found on May 14.
Millard and Mark Smich, 26, of Oakville, have been held in jail since being charged with first-degree murder in Bosma's death.
Noudga was arrested in the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday and then transported to Hamilton, police said. Toronto police officers and Hamilton forensics investigators were at Noudga's family home in Toronto on Thursday afternoon.
2nd murder charge against Mark Smich
On Thursday, Ontario Provincial Police also charged aviation heir Millard with first-degree murder in the 2012 deaths of his father Wayne and Toronto resident Laura Babcock, 23, who he was reportedly seeing casually.
Smich has also been charged with first-degree murder in death of Babcock, who was reported missing in the summer of 2012.
Babcock's death is now being considered Toronto's 55th homicide of 2012, while Wayne Millard's death is the 56th, Toronto police Staff Insp. Greg McLane said at a news conference Thursday.
"Now that the cases are before the criminal courts, police will not be making statements or taking questions," McLane told reporters.
"The investigation is continuing into all three matters until all investigative leads have been followed," he said.
Not a 'traditional dating relationship'
Toronto police have said that Babcock and Millard were "romantically linked" but not in a "traditional dating relationship."
Det. Mike Carbone told CBC News last June that Babcock was known to be involved in the sex-trade business for several months prior to her disappearance, but he added that, as far as he knew, Millard was not involved in the sex-trade business. A farm owned by Millard in Waterloo Region was searched by police last last fall in relation to Babcock's disappearance.
Her family told CBC News that they are "completely devastated."
"As you can imagine, this is any parent's worst nightmare. It's been two years since she's been gone but a glimmer of hope remains — we want proof," the family said in a statement.
The Bosma family has reached out to the Babcocks to offer their condolences and support, Sharlene Bosma told reporters Friday. Tim’s father Hank said his family “went through hell for eight days,” but the Babcock’s have been hoping to hear news about their daughter for years.
“For me, that’s only a fraction of what we’ve gone through,” Sharlene Bosma said. “It’s been almost two years – not knowing. They are a family who needs lots of support right now.”
Members of Bosma's family are making an effort to be at every court appearance of those accused in his death.
“It’s just something that we feel we need to do,” Sharlene Bosma said. “It’s not for everybody … some days, it’s not always for us, either.”
Other families of homicide victims have contacted the Bosma family to offer their support too, she said. Tim Bosma’s death made national headlines when it was announced last year.
“Sometimes it’s hard to listen to. You can feel their pain,” she said. “You’re suddenly in a position where you can understand what their emotions are, when you never thought you would.
“It’s a club you don’t want to be a part of.”
Toronto and Hamilton police are still investigating the deaths of Bosma, Babcock and Millard's father, but the three cases have now been streamlined under the OPP's Major Case Management (MCM) system.
The MCM system is used so that valuable information that links multiple cases can be shared between police forces when “serial predators and offenders are concerned,” said OPP spokesman Pierre Chamberland.
Tim Bosma's memorial in photos: