Ryan Lane murder trial hears accused sold truck with victim's DNA to scrap yard for $128

One of the three people accused of killing Ryan Lane insisted his truck be sold to a scrap yard despite being offered a lot more, a Calgary murder trial heard Friday.

Court also told Calgary father desperately missed his daughter

Ryan Lane disappeared in February 2012 and his remains were found nine months later in a barrel near Beiseker, burned almost beyond recognition. (Submitted by Ryan Lane's family)

One of the three people accused of killing Ryan Lane insisted his truck be sold to a scrap yard despite being offered a lot more, a Calgary murder trial heard Friday.

Crown prosecutor Tom Buglas said in his opening address to the jury that Wilhelm Rempel's truck had the Calgary father's DNA inside.

His brother, Tim Rempel, is married to Sheena Cuthill — who the court heard was in a custody dispute with the victim over their daughter. All three of them are facing first-degree murder charges.

Andrew Knox, who worked at the Rainbow Salvage Yard, testified Friday that he tried to buy the truck for nearly four times the scrap value. Wilhelm Rempel was instead paid $128 for the truck, and turned down Knox's offer of $500.

He had brought the truck into Rainbow Salvage on Feb. 8, 2012 — the day after he was seen on video surveillance washing the inside and outside of the vehicle at a local car wash. 

Court was shown video of a man washing a red pickup truck on Feb. 3 and again on Feb. 7. (Court evidence)

Knox said Wilhelm Rempel went on about problems with the truck despite it appearing to be in good shape.

"It seemed to be running pretty fine."

Knox said he spoke to the owners of Rainbow about buying the truck but it never happened.

"The bosses thought it was a mechanically sound truck and wanted to keep it for themselves."

Alberta Justice mediator testifies

The court also heard that Lane was "very sad" and desperately wanted to spend time with his daughter, a mediator with Alberta Justice testified Friday.

The extent that he was sad was uncommon to me.- Joanne McKay, Alberta Justice mediator

Joanne McKay mediated custody issues between Lane and Cuthill the month before his disappearance.

The former couple each met with McKay for an hour in January 2012 and then the three had a session together at the end of the month to negotiate child support and visitation rights.

"[Lane] very much wanted to establish that relationship," said McKay. "He expressed many times how much he missed the child."

After their first session, Cuthill agreed to suspend the child support order until they worked out visitation rights.

Under cross examination, McKay told the jury that Cuthill had been a willing participant in the process.

"It went well, there was no hostility," said McKay. "They made some progress."

'Just wanted regular access'

But Lane appeared depressed to McKay. 

"Ryan was very sad, but he was engaged in the process and committed to re-establishing that relationship," said McKay. "The extent that he was sad was uncommon to me."

It was agreed Cuthill would have custody of the girl.

"Ryan was not interested in custody as such," said McKay. "He just wanted regular access to his child." 

Wilhelm Rempel, Sheena Cuthill and Tim Rempel are all accused of murdering Ryan Lane because he wanted visitation rights with the daughter he and Cuthill shared. (CBC/Global)

It's alleged the Rempel brothers called Lane before midnight, and lured him to a parking lot. He got in Wilhelm's truck and was driven away, Tim following in his red Jeep, according to the prosecution.

DNA from Lane was found in both vehicles, said the Crown, though the brothers both denied ever having met Lane in their first interview with police.

A burn barrel was found several months after Lane's disappearance with human remains in it, as well as Lane's class ring and pieces of his cellphone.

The trial resumes on Monday.