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Babcock’s remains not found at Dellen Millard’s farm

Dellen Millard’s 100-acre farm was the epicentre of a police search last September.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The remains of Laura Babcock, one of Dellen Millard's three alleged murder victims, were not found on the aviation heir's farm, says a coroner involved in the investigation.

Police have not said whether they have recovered Ms. Babcock's body, even after charging Mr. Millard and a friend, Mark Smich, last month with first-degree murder.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary since Tim Bosma, a 32-year-old father from Ancaster, Ont., disappeared after taking two men to test drive his pickup truck. A week later, his badly burned remains were discovered on Mr. Millard's property in North Dumfries, south of Kitchener. Mr. Millard, 28, and Mr. Smich, 26, face first-degree murder charges in relation to his death. Both men have maintained their innocence through their lawyers.

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Regional supervising coroner Jack Stanborough said his office does not have an "open and ongoing" investigation into Ms. Babcock, meaning her remains were not discovered in his territory, which covers a swath of southwestern Ontario that includes Mr. Millard's former rural property. "I don't know if the body's been found," Dr. Stanborough said in an interview. "And if the body has been found, it was not found in my region."

The lack of concrete information has Ms. Babcock's parents clinging to the belief that there's still a chance of finding her alive.

"As a mom, you can never give up hope," said Linda Babcock, adding that investigators have not provided the family with any details.

A police document filed in court says the 23-year-old Toronto woman died "on or about" July 3, 2012. But Ontario Provincial Police Detective Inspector Dave Hillman, who is in charge of the multijurisdictional police investigation into the three cases linked to Mr. Millard, would not comment on whether officers have recovered her remains. Ms. Babcock was a friend of Mr. Millard.

"I'm not going to speak to any of that stuff at all," he said in an interview. "That's all evidentiary stuff."

Mr. Millard's former 100-acre property was the centre of a five-day police search in September in connection with the Toronto Police investigation into Ms. Babcock's case. The search was also connected to the November, 2012, death of Mr. Millard's father, Wayne, which was originally deemed a suicide. Investigators have not said what, if anything, they retrieved from the farm.

Mr. Millard was also charged last month with first-degree murder in the death of his father, who, at the time, was preparing to open a new aircraft maintenance hub in Waterloo.

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The Globe and Mail previously reported that an employee of Mr. Millard's family aviation firm handled the purchase of a portable livestock incinerator around July, 2012. Police seized an incinerator from Mr. Millard's farm in relation to the Bosma probe. Bought for $835,000 in 2011, the property was sold for $840,000 in February.

Ms. Babcock, a 23-year-old University of Toronto graduate, went missing in early July, 2012. Her last cellphone bill showed eight calls on July 2 and 3 to Mr. Millard, a long-time friend with whom she had been involved in a casual sexual relationship. Shawn Lerner, a former boyfriend who remained close with Ms. Babcock, has said he later met with Mr. Millard, who initially denied speaking with Ms. Babcock eight times, but then said she had been seeking drugs and a place to stay, which Mr. Millard said he declined.

With research by Rick Cash

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