Nova Scotia

Missing woman's fiancé charged with murder

James Leroy Leopold arraigned in court on second-degree murder charge in death of Laura Lee Robertson, missing since April 14.
James Leroy Leopold is led by police into Bridgewater provincial court on Wednesday. ((CBC))
The fiancé of missing Nova Scotian Laura Lee Robertson has been arraigned in court.

James Leroy Leopold, 31, appeared briefly in Bridgewater provincial court on Wednesday, charged with second-degree murder.

RCMP said they had found the remains of an adult female early Wednesday morning in a wooded area off Highway 210 in Greenfield, N.S.

While the Mounties have not yet released the woman's identity, Amanda Jones Robertson — Robertson's daughter — told CBC News police told her they had found her mother's body and she was to identify the remains.

"Thank you to everyone in the community who helped and supported us through this difficult period," Jones Robertson said in a statement.

"A special thank you to the Liverpool RCMP and all the investigators, especially Cpl. Sandi Merrell, who has been a lifeline between the family and the RCMP through all of this."

Leopold was arrested Tuesday following a search of the couple's Liverpool apartment. He was held for questioning overnight and charged in the morning.

Robertson, a 47-year-old fish plant worker, was last seen by a family friend at 4 p.m. on April 14. She was reported missing at 11 p.m. that evening by a friend.

"Since this investigation started on April 14, we've had a full team of investigators dedicated to this investigation. We've been working every day without exception," said RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger.

Jones Robertson has said the family was worried about her mother's relationship with Leopold. Friends said they heard the couple arguing loudly the night before her disappearance.

Leopold, seen here with Laura Robertson, is charged with second-degree murder. (Contributed)

Jones Robertson said the family checked her mother's apartment after she went missing, and found her keys, her purse and even her work clothes.

In an interview with CBC News last week, Leopold said he did nothing to harm Robertson and was anxiously awaiting news of her whereabouts.

Leopold has said he saw Robertson the morning she was reported missing. Since her disappearance, he has been staying with relatives in Bangs Falls, Queens County, where friends and family of Robertson organized a search effort Friday.

Leopold will now remain in custody until his next court appearance, expected on May 18.

Court documents obtained earlier from Liverpool provincial court show that Leopold also faces a number of previous criminal charges, including assault, breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods. None of those charges has been proven in court.

The documents also show Leopold had been ordered to stay away from Robertson and several of his own relatives until those charges were dealt with in court.