A business acquaintance of Dellen Millard, charged Thursday with the first-degree murder of his father Wayne and Toronto woman Laura Babcock, says he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary in the father-son relationship.
Bruce Nicholson, a realtor in Kitchener, said he first met the family when Dellen Millard, 28, called him about a farm property that was for sale in North Dumfries in 2011. It was the same farm where police found the burned remains of Tim Bosma, the Ancaster, Ont., man that Dellen Millard and his friend, 26-year-old Oakville resident Mark Smich, are accused of killing.
Nicholson says Millard and his father were also in the process of negotiating with the Waterloo Regional Airport for land to build a hangar.
"I met them on more than one occasion, Dellen and his father, out at the airport," said Nicholson in an interview on Thursday. "They were doing business with the management at the airport and it was just convenient for me to meet them there once we started on to the negotiation process on doing an offer on the farm."
Nicholson said the relationship between the father and son appeared to be typical and normal.
"It seemed to be supportive," said Nicholson. "My son's in the business with me so I have a bit of a feel for fathers and sons trying to do business together and it seemed quite positive."
"The stuff that came out afterwards really came as a surprise and a shock because it just didn't seem to fit with the impression I had or how I had felt around them," added Nicholson.
Wayne Millard's death previously believed to be suicide
Originally, Wayne Millard's death was deemed a suicide by police in November 2012. Police have not revealed what specific information led to the additional murder charges.
Police decided to reopen the case last fall after Dellen Millard was charged in Bosma's death.
At the time of his death, the elder Millard was in the process of starting up Millardair MRO, described as "a new provider for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul service." The company was based at the Region of Waterloo International Airport and had the largest hangar at the airport, with plans to employ 40 to 90 people, Canadian Skies magazine reported at the time.
Millard and Smich are currently both in custody on first-degree murder charges in the death of Bosma. Both men were also charged Thursday with first-degree murder charges in the death of 23-year-old Laura Babcock, who went 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 during an afternoon news conference.
Christina Noudga, 21, of Toronto, has also been charged with being accessory after the fact in connection to Bosma’s death. She was arrested in the GTA on Thursday, and has since been transported to Hamilton.