Richard Oland's final hours detailed in warrants

Search warrants in the Richard Oland murder investigation, released Friday, paint a picture of the final hours of his life, including business meetings about his estate and text messages exchanged with his mistress.

Had business meeting about his estate, text exchange with mistress

the night before Richard Oland's body was discovered, two men heard loud noises coming from his office. ((Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon/CBC))

Search warrants in the Richard Oland murder investigation, released Friday, paint a picture of the final hours of his life.

The prominent businessman was found dead in his Saint John office about 15 months ago.

But up until now, few details have been public because the search warrants had been sealed.

The newly-released information shows Oland arrived at his Saint John office shortly after 10 a.m. on July 6, 2011.

He was late for a meeting, according to his long-time secretary Maureen Adamson.

She had called Oland at his home at about 9:50 a.m., worried that he might have forgotten, she told police. Oland said he was on his way.

At about 10 a.m., Oland had called his mistress, Diana Sedlacek from his car, the documents state.

Sedlacek, a local real estate agent, told police they had been in a romantic relationship for eight years and she believed most of his family was aware of their affair.

She did not answer his call because she was in a spin class at the time, she said.

Shortly after 10 a.m., when Oland got to his office — Far End Corporation  on Canterbury Street — he met with an employee and friend of 30 years, Bob McFadden, as well as two other men.

Their discussion involved Oland’s estate, according to his secretary.

'Are you there?'

At around noon, Oland texted Sedlacek, about a trip they were planning to Maine, advising her of possible times they could go.

She texted back with the dates and times she was available, but did not receive a reply, she said.

Sedlacek later tried to call Oland, but he didn’t answer.

She then messaged him: "Are you there?" But she got no response.

Sedlacek tried his cellphone, but it went straight to voice mail. She also called his office, to no avail.

She continued to try to reach Oland several times until July 7 when she learned of his death.

Sedlacek told police she maintained regular contact with Oland through phone conversations and text messaging.

She contacted him every day at 6:30 p.m. and he always answered, she said.

Some details remain sealed

The search warrants also reveal that when Oland’s secretary left the office for the day on July 6, he was meeting with another man.

Lead investigator Const. Stephen Davidson believes that man is the prime suspect in Oland’s death and that the man lied to police about what he was wearing the night Oland died.

The man cannot be identified.

A New Brunswick judge has imposed a publication ban on the names of any individuals who were searched, or any information that would identify them.

Provincial court Chief Judge R. Leslie Jackson also ordered some of the information remain sealed, including details about the condition of Oland’s body.

That information is considered so-called "hallmark evidence" that only the person or persons responsible for Oland’s death would know, the judge said.

Several time references in the seven search warrants and related documents have also been redacted.

But at some point during the night of July 6, two men who were working on the main floor of Oland’s office building heard noises coming from Oland’s second-storey office.

'Loud quick pounding thumps'

Anthony Shaw told police he heard six or seven "exceptionally loud, quick pounding thumps." He described the noise as being similar to banging on a wall.

John Ainsworth also heard noises, which, he described to police as "shuffling." The sounds seemed to emanate from one area of Oland’s office, Ainsworth said.

The following morning, Oland’s secretary Maureen Adamson arrived at work at about 8:45 a.m.

The door on the ground floor was unlocked, she said, which was unusual. That door was normally locked at that time in the morning, she told police.

She also noticed the door at top of the stairs, which leads to Oland’s office, was ajar.

That door was always kept locked, she told police, and the only people who had a key were her, Oland, employee Bob McFadden and landlord John Ainsworth.

When Adamson opened the door, she discovered Oland’s body and immediately ran to the office downstairs, according the documents.

An employee there called 911.

The released documents do not say how Oland, 69, died or whether any weapon was involved.

But there were "several types of blood stain patterns at the scene," according to Sgt. Mark Smith, who is considered an expert in blood stain patterns.

The documents indicate police reviewed Oland’s cell phone records as part of their investigation.

The times of the last outgoing and incoming calls have been redacted.

But the signal from the last outgoing call was received from the cell tower located at Brunswick Square in Saint John.

The signal from the last incoming call was received from the cell tower located at the Riverside Country Club in Rothesay.

Divers later searched the nearby waters of Renforth Wharf to locate evidence but were unsuccessful, according to the documents.

No charges have been laid.

CBC News and the Telegraph-Journal have been fighting to have the search warrants released since December.

Search warrants are normally public documents.