Folker jury sees victim's remains

A Supreme Court jury saw photos of Ann Marie Shirran's remains for the first time on Tuesday at the David Folker murder trial in St. John's.
Jurors in the David Folker murder trial saw the remains of Ann Marie Shirran for the first time in court on Tuesday. (CBC )

A Supreme Court jury saw photos of Ann Marie Shirran's remains for the first time on Tuesday at the David Folker murder trial in St. John's.

Folker, 42, is charged with second-degree murder in the July 2010 death of his former girlfriend. He is also charged with performing an indignity to a human body.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigators said Shirran's remains were scattered by wild animals during the two months that the body was in the woods near Cappahayden, on the Southern Shore.

The scattering of the remains meant the RNC had to expand the search by about 150 yards.

Most jurors watched intently, while others lowered their heads when former RNC Sgt. Karl Piercey showed them a photo of Shirran's skull, jaw bone, and top teeth.

He said the wooded area where the remains were discovered was flush with heavy alder bushes, which made the search for bones a difficult task.

The search was conducted from Sept. 2 to Sept. 15, 2010.

Two weeks ago, on the second day of his trial, Folker admitted that Shirran, 32, died after the two had a fight, and that he dumped her body in a wooded area on the Southern Shore.

Before jurors were shown photos of the scene where the remains were discovered, Justice Wayne Dymond told them they could take a break if the photos caused them distress.

Apartment search

Piercey was also one of the officers involved in a search of the apartment that Shirran and Folker shared in Kilbride, six days after Shirran's disappearance on July 18, 2010.

Piercey said the apartment appeared neat and tidy, and that nothing seemed unusual.

But he did note the steel door to the apartment had a split in it, while the frame itself was intact. He also said the soles of a pair of boots in the porch were covered in mud.

RNC Const. Dave Squires testified that a second search of the apartment in August 2010 turned up a moving blanket, similar to blankets found off Blackhead Road that had Shirran's blood on them.

Reporter Ariana Kelland filed updates from Supreme Court in St. John's.