Amber Kirwan trial hears blood and fingerprint evidence

Police presented forensic evidence allegedly linking Chris Falconer to the killing of 19-year-old Amber Kirwan at a court in Pictou on Tuesday.

Warning: Story contains graphic details

Amber Kirwan, 19, disappeared in October 2011. Her remains were found a month after her disappearance.

Police presented forensic evidence allegedly linking Chris Falconer to the killing of 19-year-old Amber Kirwan at a court in Pictou on Tuesday.

Falconer, 31, is charged with first-degree murder over Kirwan's death in 2011. His case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Pictou.

The Crown presented fingerprint and blood evidence and spoke about drugs found in the teenager's body.

RCMP Cpl. Matthew Mader, a fingerprint expert, spent much of the day on the stand. He took Kirwan's fingerprints during her autopsy. He said he tried the usual methods but her skin was too decomposed. 

Mader said he then called upon another officer to perform "non-traditional" techniques.

Mader also seized, searched and photographed evidence in the fall of 2011. He analyzed clothes found near the body onHeathbell Road and he took autopsy photos of Kirwan.

The officer also searched the camper trailer where Falconer often stayed and the car he drove.

He found blood in the trailer and car. He also found 12 samples of Falconer’s fingerprint on the vehicle. None were found on the trailer.

Patrick Young, the Crown attorney, said the link will become clear when the DNA expert testifies.

"We're going to be leading evidence to prove that Amber was in that trailer and that's going to come throughout the week. So there hasn't been any evidence today of her prints being there, but it's all going to come out in the next couple of days," he said.

Defence challenges evidence

Defence lawyer Mike Taylor asked Mader if the evidence seized from Mason Campbell's car was analyzed after 19-year-old Kirwan's body was found. He said it was not. Campbell was Kirwan's boyfriend at the time and was supposed to pick her up the night she went missing. 

"There are just a number of questions that I had about the evidence that is related to him that I thought was pretty relevant and a jury will have to decide whether or not it has any real significance," Taylor said.

The Crown said they do not have the weapon used in the killing, no motive and the scene of the killing is unknown. But Young said none of that is needed to prove first-degree murder.

"We can prove that the accused killed Amber, that he kidnapped her and confined her and killed her and buried her," he said.

RCMP Const. Jason Dawson was the Crown's first witness Tuesday. Dawson arrested Falconer at Dorchester in May 2012 and took his fingerprints.

Toxicologist Lori Campbell spent the last part of the day on the stand.

She told the court Kirwan had at least ten times the therapeutic amount of codeine in her body, which she said was a very high level.

Campbell will resume her testimony Wednesday morning.

With files from Angela MacIvor and The Canadian Press