Prince George Free Press
Testifying at a B.C. Supreme Court trial Thursday afternoon, an RCMP officer regularly on the beat in downtown Prince George said he saw and spoke with murder victim Jill Stuchenko, 35, for the last time in October 2009.
RCMP Const. Mike Hansen, a member in Prince George since 1995, said he’d known Stuchenko for several years but had not seen her for some time when he noticed her on Oct. 9, 2009 in the early evening, walking near Queensway. Her remains were found in a gravel pit off Otway Road on Oct. 26, 2009.
The two had a three- to five-minute “short conversation”, he said, adding she was making her way on foot heading towards Victoria Street.
Cody Alan Legebokoff, 24, is charged with the murders of Stuchenko and three other area women, Loren Leslie, Cynthia Maas and Natasha Montgomery. His trial, before a 14-person jury, began June 2.
Asked how he knew Stuchenko, the officer said she was “one of the street workers.”
He usually saw her in the vicinity of Juniper Street and the VLA area on streets such as Pine and Oak, he said.
During cross examination, defence lawyer James Heller referred Hansen to an interview he had given an RCMP colleague about Stuchenko after her body was discovered. He agreed he’d told the officer that Stuchenko was usually talkative and outgoing but on this final occasion was not.
“You knew she was a drug user?” asked Heller.
“Not directly … but I assumed so,” said Hansen.
“The last time you saw her, she wasn’t herself so to speak?”
Hansen agreed she was not.
In other testimony heard Thursday, RCMP. Sgt. John Took, a forensic identification specialist, described his involvement in an April 13-16, 2011 search of a Carney Street dwelling where an earlier witness said he first met Legebokoff (he was not named as a tenant).
The officer said he and his team used white light and coloured lasers in the thorough examination of the premises.
Shown a booklet of photographs taken by Cpl. Kimberley Tremblay (she testified earlier in the week), Took told the court he took measurements at the scene of all the rooms, made sketches of both floors of the house and later made them into computer generated diagrams.
The officer said they used white light, bright forensic light, ultraviolet and blue lights, forensic lasers, all different colours “as you see on T.V.” By darkening the room and using different light techniques and special goggles, it is possible to “better see things” without the distractions, he said.
The same approach was used upstairs and downstairs, he testified.
“[We] searched every room and every surface of that residence.”
Samples were taken to test for the potential of any blood evidence, in some cases taking cuttings of carpet, he said.
The trial resumed July 2.