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The remains of Chad Davis, 22, were discovered inside a barrel that had been floating near the shoreline of the Lee River in July 2008. ((Police handout) )

Two Manitoba men will stand trial for first-degree murder inconnection to the grisly slaying of a young Winnipeg man in 2008.

The remains of Chad Davis, 22, were found wrapped in industrial-style plastic and stuffed into a barrel that had surfaced on the Lee River northeast of Winnipeg in July 2008.

Davis had been reported missing nearly six months earlier after he was last seen on Prince Rupert Avenue in northeast Winnipeg.

The discovery of Davis’s remains triggered a lengthy RCMP investigation that resulted in charges being laid against Cory Tymchyshyn and Kristopher Brincheski in September 2008.

RCMP conducted lengthy searches at two Winnipeg homes in connection to the case, one on Prince Rupert Avenue and the other in West Kildonan.

Both Tymchyshyn and Brincheski consented to stand trial on first-degree murder charges in the Court of Queen’s Bench following the conclusion of their preliminary hearing Friday morning. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Both men remain free on bail.

Their next court date is Dec.8, but no trial date has been set. They face mandatory life sentences without a chance of parole for 25 years if convicted.

Judge Brian Corrin cautioned the men that the results of their preliminary hearing did not in any way indicate a finding of guilt, telling court that "99.6 per cent" of preliminary hearings trigger a committal to trial.

Publication ban on evidence

A mandatory publication ban on the evidence tendered by the Crown during the preliminary hearings is in effect.

RCMP have said little about the case and have never revealed a motive for Davis’s killing.

Police have publicly said the accused knew Davis, but wouldn’t say how.

Court records show Tymchyshyn and Brincheski were business partners in a company called Brincore Homes.

Two men out fixing a dock in cottage country near Lac du Bonnet discovered Davis’s remains. They told CBC News at the time that the barrel had been floating in the Lee River for a couple of weeks before they decided to retrieve it and pry it open.

After making the horrific discovery, they immediately called RCMP.