Ryan Lane's DNA found in both vehicles allegedly used in his kidnapping and murder, trial hears
Forensic DNA analyst testified Lane's DNA was 1 in 480 billion match
Ryan Lane's DNA was found in both vehicles believed to have been used in his kidnapping and murder, a Calgary jury heard Monday.
Forensic DNA expert Dr. Gregory Litzenberger, who works with the RCMP in Edmonton, testified at the first-degree murder trial underway for Sheena Cuthill and brothers Tim and Wilhelm Rempel.
The trio is accused of killing Lane after he began to seek visitation with the daughter he shared with Cuthill.
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Though it wasn't confirmed the substance tested was blood, Litzenberger found deposits of Lane's DNA on the floor of the driver's side of a Jeep owned by Tim Rempel and Cuthill.
The victim's DNA was also found on the ceiling of the red pickup truck sold to a scrap yard by Wilhelm Rempel the day after Lane's disappearance for far less than had been offered for it.
Rempel was seen pressure washing the inside and outside of that truck at a car wash in the hours after Lane was last seen getting into a vehicle that matched the description of the pickup.
Under cross-examination, Litzenberger told defence lawyers representing the Rempel brothers that the stains could have been transferred by stepping in a substance and then getting into a vehicle.
He also said there was no way to tell the age of a stain.
What are believed to be Lane's burned remains were found in a barrel in a remote location near Beiseker, Alta., several months after his disappearance.
DNA could not be found on bone and cartilage fragments that were tested by Litzenberger, but he did tell the jury that burning would greatly compromise any DNA — causing it to break down.
It's alleged the Rempel brothers called Lane before midnight on Feb. 6, 2012, and lured him to a parking lot. The prosecution says he got in Wilhelm's truck and was driven away with Tim following in his red Jeep.
'I've never met the guy'
Though DNA from Lane was found in both vehicles, Tim Rempel denied ever having met Lane in his first interview with police.
A recorded conversation between homicide detectives Ken Carriere and Nadine Wagner and Tim Rempel, who was Cuthill's husband, was played in court on Monday afternoon.
"I've never met the guy," said Rempel to Carriere about Lane. "I don't know a single thing about him."
The day of Lane's disappearance, Rempel says he met his brother, Wilhelm, at a Tim Hortons after work and then went home to his wife.
"Everything I said to you is 100 per cent accurate," said Rempel.
Wilhelm Rempel's interview with police will be played in court on Tuesday.