Nova Scotia

N.S. man accused of murdering prostitute

A Nova Scotia man accused of kidnapping and brutalizing a prostitute has been charged with second-degree murder in the case of another sex worker who disappeared three months ago.

A Nova Scotia man accused of kidnapping and brutalizing a prostitute has been charged with second-degree murder in the case of another sex worker who disappeared three months ago.

Steven Laffin, 36, is accused of killing Nadine Taylor, police announced Wednesday in Halifax.

Taylor, 29, was reported missing on July 31. Nearly two months later, police said they were investigating her disappearance as a homicide.

"This was a complicated investigation in that Nadine's body has yet to be located and we have reason to believe that we will not be able to locate her remains," said Deputy Chief Chris McNeil.

Laffin, from Dartmouth, is charged with abduction, forcible confinement, aggravated sexual assault and uttering death threats in connection with an Aug. 16 attack on another sex-trade worker.

Investigators spent several days searching his house on Weyburn Road after his arrest.

Police said they had information from witnesses and physical evidence that led them to charge Laffin with Taylor's death, but they didn't give details.

Left to make call

Taylor was last seen on the evening of July 28.

Gene Hape said his fiancee left her Halifax home to make a call from a payphone because she didn't have her own phone. She never returned, and he called police three days later.

Taylor was a known prostitute, but police aren't saying whether she was working at the time she was killed.

Both Hape and Taylor's father declined an interview with CBC News. Hape said he was too upset to talk.

Taylor's friend, Claudette Collee-Lavoie, said she was shocked by the murder charge.

"I knew it was eventually coming but I didn't want to believe it," she told CBC News. "She was a good person."

Stepping Stone, a group for sex-trade workers in the Maritimes, issued a statement Wednesday saying there are more missing women.

Staff, volunteers and the people who use Stepping Stone's services are relieved that charges have been laid and "hope that justice will prevail," the short message reads.

Charges laid

Earlier this year, Laffin was charged with sexual assault with a knife. But that charge was dropped in June because the alleged victim, a sex worker, did not show up to court, court records show.

Another sex-trade worker told CBC News a harrowing story about an attack on her in August, that led to the string of charges against Laffin.

The 29-year-old said she got into a man's car in Spryfield, and he drove her to a parking lot.

The woman said the man grabbed her throat and choked her. She said when she regained consciousness, her mouth was covered in duct tape and her ankles and wrists were bound.

She said as the man sexually assaulted her, he slammed her face into the ground and said he would kill her.

The woman said she was stuffed into the trunk of the man's car, but managed to escape.

Laffin is currently at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. He is expected to be in court on Thursday to face the second-degree murder charge.