British Columbia

Prince George man sentenced for wife's murder

Thirteen years after his wife disappeared, a Prince George, B.C., man has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder, but the couple's adult children remain conflicted about her death.

Thirteen years after his wife disappeared, a Prince George, B.C., man has been sentenced to life in prison for her murder, but the couple's adult children remain conflicted about her death.

Wendy Ratte was 47-years-old when she disappeared while shopping in downtown Prince George in August of 1997.

Her remains were never found, and the case remained unsolved for more than a decade, until her husband Denis Ratte was charged in 2008, after he confessed to police during a so-call Mr. Big police sting operation,

On Nov. 3, Ratte was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting his wife in the head and dumping her naked body in a swamp.

On Thursday his daughter Anna Sieppert delivered an emotional victim impact statement that left staff in the Prince George courtroom in tears.

Daughter makes plea

Sieppert, who was a teenager when her mother disappeared, tried for years to track her mother down, talking to newspapers and radio shows every year on her mother's birthday, but to no avail.

In court she described the devastation of "losing" both her parents.

"My father took everything," Sieppert told the judge. "I want to know everything," she said, "So we can put my mom to rest."

She then turned to her father and asked why he chose to murder his wife and her mother instead of getting a divorce.

Denis Ratte then leaned forward and listened intently, as Sieppert begged him to reveal where he left the body.

He never did, and Sieppert urged the judge to keep her father in prison until he was dead.

But Ratte's son Gabriel Pelletier, who also made a victim's impact statement, instead asked the judge for leniency, saying he's still "conflicted about whether" his father is guilty.

On Friday the judge is expected to rule on when Ratte will be eligible for parole.