Court hears Winnipeg girl was alive when she was left to freeze to death

By The Canadian Press
January 23, 2017 - 1:15pm

WINNIPEG — A pathologist says a Winnipeg teenager was alive when she was tied up and left in a shed where she froze to death.

He also told court that his autopsy uncovered no signs that 13-year-old Candace Derksen had been sexually assaulted.

Her body was found in January 1985 — about six weeks after she disappeared on her way home from school.

Dr. Peter Markesteyn was Manitoba's chief medical examiner at the time and confirmed that hypothermia was the cause of death.

He acknowledged under cross-examination from defence lawyers that he could not determine exactly when Derksen died.

Mark Edward Grant is charged with second-degree murder.

It's the second trial for Grant, who was arrested in 2007 using DNA evidence and found guilty by a jury in 2011 of killing Derksen. The conviction was overturned following an appeal.

Markesteyn testified that Derksen probably died within 24 hours after being left in frigid winter temperatures.

Weather records presented to court show it was -25 C the day after  Derksen vanished.

Grant’s lawyers also asked questions about the possible, accidental transfer of DNA by Markesteyn or police officers in the shed. The pathologist admitted procedures to avoid contamination were not as strict in 1985 as they are now.

(CJOB)

The Canadian Press

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