A public memorial service for Tim Bosma, the man from Hamilton, Ont., who was slain after taking two strangers on a test drive in a truck he had for sale, is scheduled for Wednesday at a local convention hall.
John Veenstra, pastor at the Ancaster church Bosma attended with his wife and two-year-old daughter, said Sharlene Bosma decided to have a public service for her husband, and that the family remains grateful for the public support shown throughout their ordeal.
The service will be at Carmen's on Stonechurch Road East in Hamilton 11 a.m.
The 32-year-old Bosma went missing May 6, and police announced on May 14 that they had discovered his burned remains.
On Friday, several condolence books were set up for the public to sign at the Old Town Hall in Ancaster, the suburban Hamilton community that Bosma lived in. Arranged by the area's councillor, Lloyd Ferguson, in co-ordination with the Bosma family, people started arriving an hour before the event was even set to take place, Ferguson said.
"It's mostly for the family. For that little girl, 15 years from now when she's 17, she can read what the community was thinking," he said, referring to Bosma's two-year-old daughter.
"But it's also for the community to have an opportunity to express their thoughts."
Mayor Bob Bratina's office provided flowers for the event and the mayor stopped by to sign the book. He said it's important for the family to know the slaying has affected the entire city.
"It gives us some solace that we're able to try to help relieve the sorrow and tragedy the family is going through. I think it may help them to know that the whole community is helping them."
Those who came to sign the book were a mix of neighbours who knew Bosma's extended family to complete strangers who simply felt the need to reach out.
"The family has experienced such a tragedy that you just can't ignore it. It's affected all of us," said Joe Sardo, who came to sign the book though he doesn't know the family personally.
"I just felt like I had to do something. It's not enough. You can't bring him back and I feel so sorry for them."
More details emerge
As police continue their investigation into the slaying, more details surrounding the case are beginning to emerge. Police said Friday they expect to complete their forensic investigation of two properties and three vehicles by Saturday.
A police source told CBC News that investigators believe Bosma was killed inside his truck, during a struggle as part of an attempted hijacking. The same police source said that Bosma's truck was found with seats missing. Hamilton police could not be reached for comment on these details.
CBC News has obtained documents confirming Dellen Millard — the 27-year-old Toronto man charged with first-degree murder a week ago in relation to Bosma's death — purchased a condo in Toronto's Distillery District less than 24 hours after Bosma went missing.
Records show Millard bought the two-bedroom, two-bathroom 37th floor unit for $627,523.81 in cash on May 7 around 2:30 in the afternoon. Bosma had gone missing the night before around 9:30 p.m. after leaving his home with two men who said they were interested in test-driving a truck he had advertised online on Kijiji and AutoTrader.
Police announced last Saturday that they had arrested Millard and charged him with theft over $5,000 and forcible confinement. On Wednesday, he was charged with first-degree murder.
Police announced Tuesday they had discovered Bosma's body burned "beyond recognition."
Millard has several properties registered in his name, including a home in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, another condo in the same building in the Distillery District and a large plot of farmland in Cambridge, where police are currently conducting an extensive forensic investigation. Police located a mobile incinerator on the property last week.
CBC News has also confirmed the Ontario coroner's office still has an open investigation into the death of Millard's father, Wayne, after his apparent suicide in November of last year. Police also opened an investigation at that time, but have since concluded that investigation stating the death was not criminal.
Cheryl Mahyr, a spokeswoman for the coroner, said there's nothing particular about this investigation that has caused a lengthy investigation.
"Every death investigation we conduct is unique," Mahyr said.
Community in mourning
Meanwhile, Bosma's home community of Ancaster, a suburb of Hamilton, has been rocked by the news of his death, according to Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, the city councillor for the area.
Ferguson has arranged for a book of condolences at the old town hall in Ancaster where the public can leave messages of sympathy for the Bosma family. It will be open for signing Friday from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Several vigils and memorial efforts in Ancaster and surrounding communities have been arranged as the public tries to find a way to share their condolences with the Bosma family.
In Brantford, where Bosma's cellphone was discovered in an industrial lot last week, a candlelight vigil is planned for Friday at 7 p.m.
A month-long "Porch lights for Tim" campaign has also sprung up, where participants leave their porch lights on at night in a symbol of condolence.
A motorcycle ride to raise money for the a trust fund for Bosma's wife and daughter has been planned for June 23.