Friends stand behind accused Edson murderer
Published Thursday, December 4, 2008 5:51PM MST
The man accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl as she walked along an Edson path once discovered another woman's body on a different path system, a friend of the accused tells CTV News.
John Begg said Thursday Ross Kleman discovered a woman's mutilated human body on a different path near the Edson airport in 2002. Police would later identify the body as Margaret Findlay.
"He was very, very upset," Begg said of Kleman's discovery.
No charges have been laid in Findlay's death.
Kleman was arrested Wednesday morning following a two-month investigation into the death of Emily Stauffer on Sept. 27. He is charged with first-degree murder.
Stauffer, the daughter of a local Baptist pastor, was killed in broad daylight while she was walking along a wooded path in a residential area.
Meanwhile, friends of Kleman say they don't believe he could be responsible for Stuaffer's brutal slaying.
Begg, the employer of Kleman for more than a decade, said his friend is the "last person" who could ever hurt another human being.
"As a matter of fact I phone the RCMP at midnight and said, 'Are you sure? Are you sure,'" Begg said.
CTV News has learned that Kleman worked for the town of Edson as an equipment operator. His Facebook page states his favourite book is the bible and he likes music, gospel and going to church.
The man's two homes in Edson are currently covered in police tape.
Pastor Jim Findlay, cousin of slain woman Margaret Findlay, said he considers Kleman to be one of his sons and he allowed him to live in his home for years.
"I don't believe it, I just don't believe them," he said.
Friends say Kleman has told them he was recently diagnosed with a number of tumors in his body including his head and lungs.
Police say they don't believe the accused knew the Stauffer family prior to Sept. 27.
Kleman is scheduled to appear in court on December 16.
With a report from CTV Edmonton's David Ewasuk