Canada

Charges unlikely in Ludwig shooting case, RCMP say

RCMP in Alberta say it is unlikely charges will be laid in the shooting death of Karman Willis last June. Willis is the 16-year old Beaverlodge girl who was shot and killed on the Wiebo Ludwig property in Hythe.

Police say there simply isn't enough evidence right now to link anyone to the crime.

For the first time, the Willis family has spoken out, calling for justice to be done.

The tragedy happened June 24 on the Ludwig property. Ludwig's children were sleeping in a tent when joyriding teenagers in pick-up trucks drove into the yard.

According to RCMP, someone in the yard fired three rifle shots, killing 16-year old Karman Willis, and injuring another boy. Now, in a CBC National Magazine interview, RCMP say it's unlikely charges will ever be laid.

"There is no ballistics test available to us or anybody else that I'm aware of that will tell you who fired the rifle," RCMP Commissioner Don McDermott told The Magazine's Hana Gartner. "But the ballistics test will tell you what rifle fired the bullet. But what we have to do in an investigation like this is, you have to find the person who put their finger on the trigger and pulled it with intention of causing the shell to eject from the rifle."

McDermott said it is "very, very possible" that, under these circumstances, the RCMP will not find anyone to charge for this crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ludwig says no one from his farm fired the shot. But police say Ludwig's call to 911 after the shooting suggests someone on the farm did indeed pull the trigger:

Sixteen hours later, a heavily armed RCMP team moved in, with a search warrant. Police say they knew Ludwig had guns. They were taking no chances. For 10 days, they combed the property, finding three rifles. Now, months later, police doubt they can tie anyone to the crime. They know what happened, they have every reason to believe who might or might not have done it, but have no evidence to prove it.

In Beaverlodge, Karman Willis's family says they can't believe charges may never be laid.

"I just, I just want it dealt with," says mother Barbara Willis. "I just want to be able to put that part of it aside. I'm never going to be able to get over the loss of Karman because she was too big a part of our lives. But it has to be, somebody has to own up to doing it."

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