The first-degree murder trial for Christopher Alexander Falconer continued Thursday as the court heard from Amber Kirwan's boyfriend and the couple who made a disturbing discovery on their property in 2011.

Falconer, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 19-year-old woman's death.

 

On Thursday, the jury members were told the Kirwan case turned from a missing person file to a homicide investigation after a couple walking their dog in Heathbell made a shocking discovery.

Nathan Goodall and Lisa Williams told the court they were shocked by what they found on their property on October 14, 2011.

The gruesome discovery came after Williams responded to a gut feeling.

She said she recalled seeing a newer, clean car parked near the end of her property on Heathbell Road on thanksgiving Monday.

As she heard more about Kirwan's disappearance, that image stuck with her. That following Friday she decided to go for a walk.

It wasn't long before she saw a pair of black leggings on the ground and feather earrings hanging in the bushes.

Her common-law partner, Goodall, told her to walk away and call the police.

"That focused police attention on the area and a cascade of events flowed from there," said Crown attorney Bill Gorman.

The court then heard from three investigators who searched the area, and eventually found the spot where Kirwan was buried on a nearby logging road.

Kirwan's boyfriend 'frantic'

Mason Campbell — Kirwan's boyfriend at the time of her death — told the court he was "frantic" after her disappearance as he continued his testimony earlier on Thursday.

Campbell said when Kirwan went missing he was running on no sleep and smoking lots of cigarettes. He described the time as hazy and "frantic."

"My whole world came crashing down," Campbell told the court.

During the cross-examination, defence lawyer Mike Taylor attempted to highlight discrepancies in Campbell's police statement and his timeline of events.

Taylor pointed out the 22-year-old man's Ford Focus was seized in the days after Kirwan's disappearance. In the car, police found duct tape and a shovel. Campbell said the shovel was part of his roadside kit.

He said neither he nor Kirwan knew Falconer.

Mason Campbell

Mason Campbell, who was Amber Kirwan's boyfriend at the time of her death, continued his testimony in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Thursday. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Earlier this week, Campbell testified that on the last night he saw Kirwan, he was drunk, high and driving illegally with no insurance or registration. He was asked to pick Kirwan up from a night out but didn't want to go near Dooly's pool hall — where she had gone with her friends — because he was worried about police being in front of the popular bar.

He said he asked to meet at Big Al’s Convenience Store down the street. She never made it there.

Kirwan's body was found in a shallow grave almost a month later.

Testimony will continue with the investigators who pulled Kirwan's body out of the ground, as well as the medical examiner on Friday.