Edmonton

Accused killer of Hinton, Alta., mother and toddler now facing 2 counts of 1st-degree murder

The Alberta RCMP major crimes unit announced Tuesday that replacement charges have been sworn against Robert Keith Major "following a review of evidence in this case."

New charges follow 'review of evidence' in deaths of woman, 24, and son, 16 months

24-year-old Mchale Busch and her 16-month-old son Noah McConnell were found dead in September, a day after they were reported missing. A convicted sex offender has been charged in their deaths. (GoFundMe)

A convicted sex offender originally charged with second-degree murder in the September deaths of a Hinton, Alta., mother and toddler is now facing two counts of first-degree murder.

Robert Keith Major, 53, of Hinton, had faced two counts of second-degree murder and one count of indignity to human remains in the deaths of 24-year-old Mchale Busch and her 16-month-old son, Noah McConnell.

On Tuesday, the Alberta RCMP major crimes unit announced that replacement charges have been sworn against Major "following a review of evidence in this case."

Major is now facing two counts of indignity to human remains, up from one count, RCMP said in a news release.

RCMP said previously the mother and child were killed on Sept. 16 — the same day they were reported missing. Their bodies were found in the Hinton area, police said.

Both were killed killed inside Major's apartment. Their own apartment was in the same building.

Major, who was arrested Sept. 16, remains in custody. His next court appearance is set for Wednesday in Hinton provincial court. He is to appear via closed-circuit television, RCMP said.

Robert Keith Major, 53, now faces two counts of first-degree murder in the September deaths of a Hinton, Alta., mother and toddler. (Rob Major/Facebook)

RCMP previously confirmed that Major is a convicted sex offender and was the subject of a public warning when he was released into the Edmonton community in 2017. 

The Edmonton Police Service issued the notice after Major was released in June of that year.

At the time, the police service said it had reasonable grounds to believe Major would commit another sexual offence against a female, including children, while in the community. 

Hinton, a town of about 10,000 people, is 285 kilometres west of Edmonton.

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