Family members are still processing the news a day after RCMP announced an arrest in the five-year-long Carol King homicide investigation.
The 40-year-old Newfoundland woman was living on her farm in Herschel, Sask. – located around 36 kilometres northwest of Rosetown – when she was reported missing Aug. 6, 2011.
Four days later, RCMP found her car partially submerged in a slough just east of the community. Three weeks later, a local man discovered King’s body about eight kilometers north of where the car was pulled.
King’s death was always deemed suspicious, and RCMP said they continued to work the case throughout the last five years.
“Although sometimes to the public it appears that nothing’s been done on the file, the major crimes and historical case units never stop investigating these files,” Staff Sgt. Murray Chamberlain said Tuesday. “Sometimes it takes longer than others.”
On July 19, RCMP announced they charged 53-year-old Joseph David Caissie, King’s ex-boyfriend, with first-degree murder and offering an indignity to a body for his alleged involvement in her death.
Carol’s mother, Yvonne King, said she was still in shock when News Talk Radio contacted her Wednesday morning at her home in Mattis Point, Newfoundland.
Yvonne said she was still processing the news and wasn’t ready yet to speak to media.
A close cousin of King, who didn’t want her name used, provided some insight into the family’s ordeal while speaking from her home in Newfoundland Wednesday morning.
“I was glad they got him,” she said. “It’s relief, relief right off your shoulders.”
She said King’s family struggled with unanswered questions during the five years police investigated her death.
“It wasn’t good because we were wondering who killed her and everything…we didn’t know how she suffered,” she said.
The cousin said family in Newfoundland will get together soon to discuss their feelings about the arrest, adding that for years relatives suspected the man now accused of the crime.
“I don’t know, I just had a feeling. Just, that’s what I had in my mind that it was him,” she said.
The cousin remembers King fondly and said that she would often spend time in her home province.
“We got along so well, and she was such a nice person. You know, she’d be always happy to come visit us,” she said.
First court hearing in Saskatoon
Caissie appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court for his first hearing Wednesday morning.
In that hearing, a judge read Caissie his charges before remanding him to custody ahead of a bail hearing. Caissie was also ordered not to have any contact with a list of about seven potential witnesses the Crown said could be called in a trial.
Speaking outside the courthouse, Caissie’s lawyer, Ron Piché, said his client plans to plead not guilty when the time comes.
“He’s been steadfast in his resolve that he had nothing to do with this,” Piché said.
With a lengthy court process expected ahead, Piché said his first order of business will be to argue that his client should be released from custody ahead of a trial.
“He’s 53 years of age. He’s about to be 54. There’s nowhere he would go. His roots are in the Saskatchewan (and) Alberta provinces. So I think he’s got a good shot. But you can never predict these things,” he said.
Caissie will next appear by video in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Aug. 3. Piché said that appearance will be used to schedule a bail hearing, which has to be held in the federal Court of Queen’s Bench.