'It comes as a shock': Wife, son of Alberta farmer last seen in 2011 charged with murder

The wife and two sons of a Tofield farmer reported missing in 2011 have been charged in connection to his disappearance and death, RCMP said Friday.

Human remains found last week on farm confirmed to belong to 49-year-old Miles Naslund

Miles Naslund was reported missing in September, 2011. His wife and son have now been charged with first-degree murder. (RCMP)

The wife and son of a Tofield-area farmer not seen since 2011 have been charged with first-degree murder in connection to his death, RCMP said Friday.

Miles Naslund, 49, was reported missing from his rural home near Tofield on Sept. 6, 2011, after he didn't return home from his work as a farmer.

On Friday, one week after human remains were found during a search of the family farm, RCMP announced they have charged Naslund's wife and two sons in connection with his death.

Investigators executed a search warrant on Sept. 1 after receiving information "that evidence of the homicide may be found on the property," police said in a news release.

An RCMP underwater recovery team from British Columbia located human remains during the search. After an autopsy in Edmonton, the remains were confirmed to be those of Miles Naslund.

Helen Naslund, 52, and Neil Naslund, 25, have each been charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains. Both have been remanded into custody until Oct. 26, when they are scheduled to appear in Fort Saskatchewan provincial court.

Another son, 32-year-old Wes Naslund, has been charged with one count of accessory after the fact to murder. He is in custody until a court appearance Sept. 13 in Edmonton.

'Not in your wildest dreams'

Residents of Beaver County, which encompasses the Tofield area, were told last week that RCMP officers would be conducting an investigation in the area, according to Beaver County Reeve Kevin Smook.

Now that charges have been laid, Smook said the community is shaken. 

"We're by and large a very peaceful community and when something like this happens it comes as a shock," Smook told CBC News. 

Neighbours told Smook that the Naslund family had a hard time earning a living from their farm in 2011, he said.

"When a person's in that position, you don't know what to think when they go missing," Smook said. "Did they leave, or who knows what? ... But not in your wildest dreams would you think murder charges would be coming down." 

A federal government website that lists Canada's missing persons said Miles Naslund was last seen at his home in Holden, Alta., on Sept. 5, 2011. Holden is 34 kilometres southeast of Tofield.

Naslund was driving his 1998 gold Chevrolet Cavalier, Alberta licence FEG 590.
Miles Naslund's Chevrolet Cavalier. (RCMP)

He was wearing a black cotton hat, a grey cotton work shirt and blue jeans.

RCMP said the case had originally been treated as a missing person file but the investigation "evolved into a homicide case" involving resources from the Tofield and Camrose RCMP detachments, the RCMP's major crimes unit and its forensic identification section.

With files from Anna Desmarais