On Tuesday, the trial started for an Alberta man, Travis Vader, who is facing charges in connection to the murder of two seniors who disappeared nearly six years ago.

Back in July 2010, Lyle and Marie McCann, a couple both in their 70s, were last seen fueling up their motorhome in St. Albert before they headed out for a holiday.

On July 5, two days later their motorhome was found burned-out in the bush near Edson, 200 kilometres west of St. Albert – the vehicle they had been towing behind their motorhome was found off a bush trail near Edson on July 16.

RCMP believe the couple was murdered, although their bodies have never been found.

Travis Vader, a long-time suspect in the case, was arrested on a long list of outstanding warrants on unrelated charges. He was quickly named a person of interest and later a suspect in the McCann’s killings.

He was charged in 2012, but the charges were initially stayed against him – days before his trial was to start in 2014, the Crown announced it had found RCMP didn’t disclose all of the evidence to lawyers. The Crown said it wasn’t ready to proceed with a fair trial and stayed the charges.

The charges were reactivated in 2014, nine months later.

On Tuesday, the Crown’s opening statements pointed to Vader’s lifestyle at the time the McCann’s disappeared, saying the father of seven kids who was once successful in the oilfield, had squandered it all away, saying he was involved in the “crystal meth subculture”, and said they can prove Vader had the McCann’s emergency cell phone.

In addition, the Crown said they had evidence from inside the SUV, including Marie McCann’s blood on cans of food, Lyle McCann’s hat, which he was wearing the day he disappeared – along with Travis Vader’s blood and DNA, and his fingerprint on a beer can in the SUV.

Vader’s lawyer, Brian Beresh, opened with his own statement, calling this case one of “tunnel vision”, and said he will reveal names of suspects authorities didn’t pursue.

He added he may call experts in DNA and blood spatter to testify, and he addressed the lack of human remains – saying there’s no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the McCann’s are dead.

Back in January, Beresh argued that the case against his client should be dropped – alleging abuse of process and a two-year delay in going to trial.

The judge ruled the RCMP made serious mistakes and a delay was troubling, but denied the application.

The trial is scheduled to continue for 22 days. The Crown said they have more than a hundred potential witnesses, but that some may not testify.

With files from David Ewasuk and The Canadian Press