Calgary

'This is a living nightmare': Family of homicide victim plead for help finding his body

The family of a man from Chestermere, Alta., who is presumed killed begged for help finding his body Thursday, describing their circumstances as a "living nightmare" and urging the public to check fields and ditches.

'The accused has hidden our beautiful son from us,' Shane Smith's mother, Shirley, said

'We are asking everyone living on the outskirts of Calgary.… Please check your fields, ditches,' said Shane Smith's mother, Shirley, at a news conference Thursday with her husband, Bill, and Smith's older sister, Cassandra. (CBC)

The family of a man from Chestermere, Alta., who is presumed killed begged for help finding his body Thursday, describing their circumstances as a "living nightmare" and urging the public to check fields and ditches.

Shane Eric James Smith, 20, was reported missing by family on June 7, after having last been seen in the southeast Calgary community of McKenzie Towne a day earlier.

A Calgary man, Ian Charles Abercrombie, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Calgary police held a news conference Thursday morning with Smith's mother, Shirley, his older sister, Cassandra, and his father, Bill.

"The accused has hidden our beautiful son from us," Shirley Smith said through tears. "Give him the dignity and respect he deserves.

"This is a living nightmare. We are asking everyone living on the outskirts of Calgary.… Please check your fields, ditches. We are very desperate. Please help us."

Shane Smith, shown here, was described as loving and beloved member of the family. (Shane Smith/Facebook)

Cassandra Smith lamented the fact her brother would not be at her wedding.

"I watched him grow into an amazing young man, a best friend, a best brother and son cherished by everybody that he impacted. The last time we talked was because I called him because I had a bad day, and I needed to talk, and he talked me through it and texted me after to tell me he loves me and was sorry he couldn't come over that night as he had commitments in the morning," Cassandra said.

"He doesn't deserve to be out there alone."

  • WATCH | Shane Smith's sister makes an emotional plea for help

'I know my life will never be the same': Shane Smith's sister begs for information

2 years ago
Duration 1:57
The family of a missing and presumed murdered Chestermere man, including his sister Cassandra Smith, are pleading for help to locate his body. 1:57

Police said they had been searching areas throughout the greater Calgary area. 

Officers believe Smith was killed at a residence in southeast Calgary late the day before he was reported missing. 

Police said in June that Smith's vehicle, a gold 2002 Nissan Maxima, was parked near a bridge for Deerfoot Trail over the Bow River at the southern city limits, sometime between 11 p.m. on June 6 and the morning of June 9.

Police also released photos last month of two vehicles believed to have been used to move the body.

"We know there are people that have this information. We need those people to come forward," said Staff Sgt. Colin Chisholm of the Calgary Police Service's homicide unit.

"These investigations take an emotional toll on everyone."

Abercrombie, 24, has been charged with:

  • 1 count of second-degree murder.
  • 1 count of indignity to a human body.
  • 1 count of breaching a court order.
  • 1 count of breaching of a firearm prohibition order.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.


The full text of the written statements from Smith's family can be read below: 

Cassandra Smith's statement:

Hello, my name is Cassie and I am Shane's older sister. The one who is supposed to protect him from the bad in the world. Something I was sadly unable to do, because someone thought they had the right to take him away for no reason.

When Shane and I were growing up, I taught him how to catch a baseball, play badminton, took him on silly rides at Disney, had many living room campouts and beyond millions of other things. Anytime another kid at school was mean to him, I promised I had his back if he needed me. I watched him grow into this amazing young man, best friend, best brother and son. Cherished by all that he impacted.

The last time we talked was because I called him when I was having a bad day, and I needed to talk, and he talked me through it and texted me after to tell me he loves me and was sorry he couldn't come over that night as he had commitments in the morning. His friends have told me how he talked of our relationship and his love for his family.

I am here begging anyone who knows anything about that tragic night that ruined our lives forever to please come forward. Look at the pictures, hear the stories and give my beautiful, amazing baby brother the respect he deserves. He didn't deserve to have his life taken. He doesn't deserve to be out there alone. Please let my family do what we never imagined we have to do and lay Shane to rest properly. Somewhere his family and his friends can tell him how much we love and miss him. I know my life will never be the same knowing Shane won't dance with me at my wedding or meet my children. I know my parents lives will never be the same. So please, I beg you, give us this at least, if you know something if you can help us bring my dear brother home. Please.

Sincerely, Cassandra Smith


Shirley Smith's statement:

Shirley Smith makes tearful plea for son's return

2 years ago
Duration 2:25
This Calgary mother says their "world was shattered" six weeks ago when Shane Smith disappeared, and now his family is pleading for any details that would allow them to say goodbye. 2:25

My name is Shirley Smith. This is my husband, Bill, and my daughter Cassandra.

On June 6th, almost six weeks ago, our world was shattered and our small family was broken forever. My loving, handsome son Shane, only 20 years old, was horrifically murdered.

When I spoke with my boy that day, it was so normal, just an average day … our last words were I love yous. Never did we ever think something like this could ever destroy our lives forever. Our amazing son, gone, just like that. Shane is everyone's best friend, loved by all. To think he left this world at the hands of who he thought was his friend is unbearable. What's worse, the accused has hidden our beautiful son from us. We know others are keeping the secret of where Shane is. We are here to beg and plead for you to please, please let us lay our son to rest.

Shane deserved his life. He does not deserve to be out there somewhere all alone. Give him the dignity and respect he deserves. My family and all of Shane's amazing friends need to say goodbye … as hard as that will be. In what world should a mom, dad and sister be out looking daily for their son, their brother's body. This is a living nightmare. We are asking everyone who lives on the outskirts of Calgary, the smaller towns surrounding Calgary, please check your fields and ditches. We are so desperate. Please help us.

Shirley Smith

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