New Brunswick

Suspected killer of Candace Stevens is dead, but woman charged as accessory to murder

A Moncton woman has been charged in connection with the homicide of Candace Stevens a year ago, but the man Fredericton police suspect killed the single mother will never be charged because he's dead, police say.

Wendy Losier, 42, of Moncton, accused of assisting James Curtis and transporting remains of Fredericton woman

Wendy Gail Losier, 42, of Moncton, is facing two charges in connection with the homicide of Candace Stevens, 31, of Fredericton, in October 2018. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

The man Fredericton police believe murdered Candace Stevens one year ago will never be charged because he's dead, but a woman has been charged in connection with the death of the single mother.

Wendy Gail Losier, 42, of Moncton, appeared in Fredericton provincial court on Monday afternoon to face charges of being an accessory after the fact to murder and interference with human remains.

The remains of Stevens, 31, were discovered on Warwick Road in Upper Derby, near Miramichi, on Oct. 27, 2018.

Losier is accused of comforting or assisting James Curtis on or about Oct. 26, 2018, for the purpose of enabling him to escape, knowing, the charge sheet alleges, that he killed Stevens.

She is also accused of transporting Stevens's remains on Oct. 27.

No other details have been released, including how or when the suspected killer died.

"At this point, what I told you is what I can say right now," force spokesperson Alycia Bartlett told CBC News, confirming only that Curtis is dead.

"The investigation is still underway but due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to formally lay that murder charge."

Losier, who was arrested and remanded into custody over the weekend, seemed to be fighting back tears during her brief court appearance Monday before Judge Julian Dickson.

Crown prosecutor Rodney Jordan objected to her release. Losier remains remanded until her next court appearance Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m.

She told the court she will be represented by a private defence lawyer, rather than applying for legal aid.

"I have a lawyer. My job has agreed to pay my lawyer," she said.

Candace Stevens, 31, a single mom, was described by friends at the time of her death as fun, a free spirit and a 'wonderful colleague.' (Submitted)

Candace Rose Winona Stevens, known to her friends by the nickname Cree, was the single mother of a young daughter and worked as an esthetician at Sorella Spa in Fredericton at the time of her death.

A passerby discovered the remains of the young Indigenous woman while travelling along a dirt road near the intersection of Highway 8 and Route 415 in Upper Derby, about 140 kilometres northeast of Fredericton.

Within days, police confirmed they were investigating her death as a homicide.

Losier is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 12. (Wendy Losier/Facebook)

"I just hope the justice system prevails and she is given justice, as she so deserved, for her and her family," Gail Paul, past president of the Indigenous Women's Association of the Wabanaki Territories, told reporters outside the courthouse Monday.

"My heart, my soul, my spirit, my ceremonies are definitely with the family," she said.

Last November, Assembly of First Nations regional chief Roger Augustine called on Fredericton police and the RCMP to conduct a thorough investigation.

"The family has suffered a profound loss and they deserve answers," he had said.

Augustine could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Losier appeared before a judge Saturday by way of video conference, was charged and remanded.

Being an accessory after the fact to murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, while interference with human remains carries a maximum sentence of five years.

With files from Shane Fowler