Convicted killer charged in death of Edmonton sex-trade worker

A man currently serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of a 13-year-old girl has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of an Edmonton woman.
The body of Ellie May Meyer was discovered in a farmer's field in May 2005. ((RCMP))

A man currently serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of an Edmonton woman.

Joseph Laboucan, 23, has been charged in connection with the death of Ellie May Meyer. Meyer's body was discovered by a farmer working a field in Strathcona County in May 2005.  

Meyer, 33, had been working as a prostitute in Edmonton.

Laboucan, who is formerly from Fort St. John, B.C., is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder of Courtepatte.   

Courtepatte, 13, was lured from West Edmonton Mall by a group of people in April 2005. Her battered and bruised body was found on a secluded golf course where she had been raped, stabbed and beaten with a hammer.

Laboucan and four others have been convicted in Courtepatte's slaying.

Project KARE, Strathcona County RCMP and the RCMP K Division Major Crimes Unit worked for 40 months on the investigation.

RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes refused to discuss specifics of the case at a news conference Friday afternoon.

Joseph Laboucan is seen in a police interview video in 2005. ((CBC News))

"I can't get into the specifics, because this is still very much an ongoing investigation," Oakes said. "Often times investigators must treat that kind of evidence as holdback evidence. Often times those are details that are only known to the person or persons responsible and that's critical in the responsible handling of information in this kind of an investigation."

Laboucan, who was arrested in prison in Prince Albert, Sask., is scheduled to appear in Strathcona County provincial court on Sept. 15.

Project KARE is a joint task force between the RCMP and Edmonton police formed in 2003, to investigate the cases of more than 20 Edmonton women who have been killed or have gone missing since 1983.

The first person to be charged under Project KARE, auto mechanic Thomas Svekla, 40, was found guilty in June of second-degree murder in the death of sex worker Theresa Innes, 36. Innes's body was found in a hockey bag in a home northeast of the city in May 2006.


  • This story originally reported that the fifth person charged in the Nina Courtepatte slaying was acquitted. In fact, the individual, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault in July 2008. She was acquitted of kidnapping.
    Feb 10, 2009 12:50 AM MT