Woman whose remains found dated man charged with murder
A missing woman found dead in a Winnipeg home last week dated the same man now charged with killing his wife in British Columbia.
Myrna Letandre went missing in October 2006. Her remains were found last week in a rooming house on Lorne Avenue in the city's Point Douglas neighbourhood.
The investigation at the house was prompted by an arrest a few days earlier of a man on Hanson Island, B.C. Traigo Ehkid Andretti, 37, has been charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife, 41-year-old Jennifer McPherson.
McPherson had gone missing May 1 and her remains were found early last week. According to McPherson's family, the couple moved from Winnipeg to B.C. about five years ago.
While in Winnipeg, the couple had lived in the house where Letandre's remains were found.
Court documents suggest relationship
Although police in Winnipeg have not said whether the discovery of Letandre's remains had anything to do with McPherson and Andretti, court documents suggest that Letandre knew him, though the spelling of the name is slightly different.
In the documents, Letandre's sister notes they last spoke on the phone Oct. 7, 2006. Letandre was staying with her boyfriend, "Traego," at his apartment on Lorne Avenue.
Letandre told her sister at the time that she was doing OK and her relationship with Traego was going well, according to the documents.
"Approximately one week after that phone call I did not hear anything further from [Letandre] and I was unable to locate her," the sister is quoted as saying in the document.
The sister is further quoted as saying that Letandre was unemployed at the time of her disappearance and collecting disability benefit payments.
Letandre continued to receive the disability cheques after her disappearance but none were ever cashed, the sister stated in the document.
Murder charge upgraded
On Monday, Andretti appeared in court in Campbell River, B.C., via video link. The second-degree murder charge that he originally faced was upgraded to first-degree murder.
Outside court, Andretti's mother described him as "a harmless, sweet guy who occasionally flips" and said she has been trying to get help for her son since he was young.
Lana Andrews, who worked with Andretti and McPherson at the Hanson Island fishing lodge where McPherson's body was found, said she knew Andretti may have suffered from mental illness.
"They did have a problem once before, where the police did show up at the resort in the off-season. But I believe as long as he was on his medication he was OK, and that's what Jennifer had mentioned to me before," Andrews said.
Andretti's next court appearance has been scheduled for May 27.
No charges have been laid to date in connection with Letandre's death.