The 28-year-old woman accused of stealing Loretta Saunders car and using her debit card in Ontario arrived at Halifax provincial court for her first appearance on Thursday, but was a no-show to the courtroom.
Victoria Henneberry was questioned by Halifax police about the case on Wednesday and was scheduled in court on Thursday morning to face the single charge of stealing Saunders’ car.
But Henneberry decided to stay in the prisoner cells and allowed her defence lawyer to represent her in the brief proceeding.
The judge put over the case until Friday for a bail hearing.
Saunders, a 26-year-old Halifax woman and student at Saint Mary’s University, was found dead in the median off Route 2 of the Trans-Canada Highway near Salisbury around 4:30 p.m. by Halifax investigators and local RCMP on Wednesday.
Police announced on Wednesday afternoon that the missing person’s case is now a homicide investigation.
Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages said on Wednesday police have identified suspects in the homicide, and are not looking for anyone else. He said they can’t publicly name them until charges are laid, which will be “as soon as possible,” although it might not happen on Thursday.
Ontario police arrested Henneberry and Blake Leggette, 25, last week after they were found near Windsor, Ont. and charged with stealing Saunders’ car.
They also face charges of fraud related to allegedly using Saunders’ debit card that will be handled by Ontario police.
Leggette appeared in court on Tuesday and is also scheduled to have a bail hearing on Friday. It’s unclear whether the two cases will be before the judge together.
Both Henneberry and Leggette were reportedly renting an apartment on Cowie Hill Road from Saunders, who hadn’t been seen since she left her Cowie Hill Road apartment on Feb.13, and was officially reported missing by her family a few days later.
She was an Inuk woman from Labrador, and in the last year of her honour’s sociology degree. Saunders was working on a thesis about missing and murdered Aboriginal women.