A 30-year-old Cape Breton man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Michelle Demers-Kennedy, who has not been seen since May.
Merlin Demers-Kennedy was arrested on Tuesday in Framboise, a small coastal community in Cape Breton about 40 kilometres southwest of Louisbourg, after a seven-month investigation into Michelle Demers-Kennedy's disappearance.
Michelle Demers-Kennedy, 58, was reported missing on Mother's Day after one of her sons called and she didn't answer the phone. She was last seen ten days earlier on May 2, 2013.
She lived alone on a small hobby farm in a remote part of Richmond County. Neighbours went to check on her and found her bedroom light still on, and a book left on her bed.
The RCMP and the Strait Area Ground Search and Rescue Team combed the area, but they never found her body.
Police have not said how they think she died, only that they believe it happened between May 2 and May 15 at her address.
"At this point I can't comment on the specifics of the evidence, only to say the police have reasonable probable grounds to believe that Mr. Kennedy committed the offence as charged," said Crown attorney Dan MacRury.
"Certainly there has been cases before where people have been convicted where someone's body has not been found, but basically the police have to have reasonable probable grounds they committed the offence and the elements of the offence have to be there."
The Demers-Kennedys lived on the same rural road, a few kilometres apart.
Merlin Demers-Kennedy looked sleepy and dishevelled during a brief court appearance in Sydney on Wednesday, reported the CBC's Wendy Martin.
He asked through his lawyer if he could be in a cell by himself, but he didn't give a reason why. He will return to court in Port Hawkesbury on Thursday.