Toronto police are probing a connection between the main suspect in the murder of Tim Bosma and the disappearance of a young Toronto woman last summer.
Dellen Millard, the 27-year-old man charged with the murder of Mr. Bosma, was the last person Laura Babcock called before she went missing, according to her ex-boyfriend.
Ms. Babcock, 23, was reported missing in early July, 2012. When police asked her ex-boyfriend, Shawn Lerner, for a list of Ms. Babcock's friends, he mentioned Mr. Millard.
"I didn't think there was anything suspicious about him or anything," said Mr. Lerner.
But when Mr. Lerner obtained the missing woman's final phone records from her parents, he noticed eight calls between Ms. Babcock and Mr. Millard on July 2 and 3.
A friend told him the two were involved in a romantic relationship.
He confronted Mr. Millard by text message and the two eventually met for a coffee at a Mississauga Starbucks.
"At first he denied it could have been eight phone calls," said Mr. Lerner. "I had the records and eventually he admitted talking with her. He basically told me that Laura had been asking him for drugs and a place to stay and that he denied both requests."
Mr. Lerner passed along the phone records to police, but "they never followed up on those leads as far as I can tell."
Mr. Lerner and Ms. Babcock ended their romantic attachment in January, 2012, but the two remained close friends.
A month later, Ms. Babcock moved out of her parents' house. She was going through some drug and mental-health issues, Mr. Lerner said.
It was around that time she began hanging around Mr. Millard. The three went to a performance at Medieval Times in Toronto and later retired to Mr. Millard's condo.
When he heard Mr. Millard had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mr. Bosma – the 32-year-old father who disappeared after taking two strangers for a test drive in his pick-up truck – Mr. Lerner notified Ms. Babcock's parents. They, in turn, alerted police, who are now investigating the link more closely.
Through his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, Mr. Millard has denied the charges against him – forcible confinement, theft over $5,000 and first-degree murder. He plans to plead not guilty.
Mr. Paradkar said police have not interviewed his client about the Babcock case.
Ms. Babcock was "very skinny" and had dyed blonde hair at the time of her disappearance, Mr. Lerner said. She stands 5-foot-10 and usually wears at necklace with a hand pendant – the Jewish symbol called "Hamsa."