A man accused of killing a young Saskatchewan woman and interfering with her corpse six years ago will stand trial for first-degree murder, a provincial judge ruled Wednesday.
Douglas Hales, 31, is accused of killing Daleen Kay Bosse in August 2008.
After a three-day preliminary hearing that started Monday, a judge ruled the Crown's case against Hales is strong enough that he should be tried in the Court of Queen's Bench.
No trial date has been set.
Bosse, a member of the Lloydminster-area Onion Lake First Nation, was 25 when she disappeared May 18, 2004, according to investigators. She was last seen leaving Jax Nite Club in Saskatoon.
Police have said Hales was working as a bouncer at the club and was one of the last people to be seen with her before she vanished.
Bosse's remains were recovered from a secluded, treed area near Warman, about 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon. The Crown alleges her body was set on fire.
After the investigation into her death appeared to stall, police said they received new information in mid-2008 that led to an arrest.
Family weeps during testimony
The Crown called eight witnesses at Hales's preliminary hearing, including undercover police officers and forensic experts. Members of the Bosse family sat together, sometimes weeping quietly as they heard testimony.
A court-ordered ban prevents the publication of any evidence presented at the hearing.
Bosse's father, Herb Muskego, said each family member is coping differently with what they've heard in court.
"They pray," he said. "We stick together. That's important, it really helps us a lot."
The Bosse case has received much public attention in Saskatchewan, where First Nations women account for a disproportionately large percentage of missing people.
Each summer since Bosse's disappearance, her mother, Pauline Muskego, has walked from her Onion Lake home to Saskatoon to raise awareness of her daughter's case and of missing aboriginal women.
First-degree murder is the most serious charge in the Criminal Code, and a conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without eligibility for parole for 25 years.