Travis Vader, who was arrested Friday for a second time in connection with the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, may be waiting a long time to find out what police have discovered that allegedly links him to the couple’s death.

The delay, according to Criminologist Bill Pitt, is that the Canadian justice system basically disappears over the Christmas holidays.

“Things move at a snail’s pace in the Canadian criminal justice system. They become non-existent over the Christmas break and New Year’s period. So putting somebody into the system now nothing is going to happen except people just sit,” he told CTV News.

Pitt questioned the timing of the arrest and also the still-unknown evidence that prompted the arrest.

“There have been no revelations of any new evidence so whatever the RCMP has they certainly kept it quiet. But they are going to have to divulge it to a justice and it better be compelling to overturn the stay and reinstitute those charges or the justice system is going to be very put off by this.

“I don’t see why it couldn’t have waited two more weeks when the system regears up and everybody starts getting back into the swing of things. That is the part that starts to look a little bit personal.

“There is going to have to be some sort of undercover evidence, some wiretap evidence, some new evidence that has not been there before because it was not winnable before so what makes it winnable now?”

RCMP confirmed Friday evening that Vader had been re-arrested without incident and will be held until his bail hearing.

Vader’s lawyer said they were surprised by the events.

“Entering a stay of proceedings when you want an adjournment we think is an abuse of process,” Brian Beresh said.

“It has been suggested so far that there is no new evidence whatsoever but that it was disorganized and that is why the stay was entered which we say is unacceptable.” 

The McCann family has asked for privacy but did issue a brief statement in response to the arrest:

“Today's news means that we will now have the opportunity to learn more about the investigation into our [parents’] death when this case comes to trial.”

Vander had previously been charged with two counts of first degree murder in the McCann case, charges which were stayed in March.

Although the Crown was given one year to recommence proceedings, Pitt said it does not happen often.

“It is very, very rare.”


Timeline of the investigation into the missing McCann couple

July 3, 2010 – Lyle and Marie McCann are seen fueling up at a Superstore gas station in St. Albert.

July 5, 2010 – Edson RCMP officer discovers the couple’s burning RV near the Minnow Lake campground, about 35 kilometres southeast of Edson and attempts to contact the registered owner to no avail.

July 10, 2010 – the couple fails to meet up with their daughter in B.C. A missing person’s bulletin is issued by St. Albert RCMP.

July 16, 2010 – McCann’s SUV discovered about  30 kilometres east of Edson near Carrot Creek. Police call Travis Vader a person of interest.

July 19, 2010 – Vader and an unnamed man are arrested following a police raid at a rural residence near Niton Junction.

August 3, 2010 – Travis Vader is named a suspect in the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann.

July, 2011 – at the family’s request a court declares the Lyle and Marie McCann legally deceased.

April 23, 2012 – RCMP charge Travis Vader with two counts of first degree murder in the death of Lyle and Marie McCann.

July 11, 2013 – Crown prosecutors decide not to go ahead with a preliminary hearing for Vader, instead the case will head to trial later scheduled for April, 2014.

March 19, 2014 – first degree murder charges against Vader are stayed.

May 16, 2014 – Vader denied bail on other charges. Trial scheduled for September.

October 9, 2014 – Travis Vader is freed from jail after spending four years there on other charges.

December 19, 2014 – Vader is again arrested in connection to the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.

With files from Amanda Anderson