The trial of a Canadian man accused of murdering and dismembering two young women has begun — with the prosecutor describing how two plumbers called police after finding “a flesh-like substance” in drains they had been called to unclog, according to a report.
Adam Strong, 47, is charged with first-degree murder in the grisly death of Rori Hache, 18, who vanished a few months before the plumbers made the shocking discovery in Oshawa, Ontario, on Dec. 29, 2017, the Canadian Press reported.
He also is also accused of killing 19-year-old Kandis Fitzpatrick, who disappeared in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty to both murder charges.
“The plumbers pulled out what appeared to be a flesh-like substance,” prosecutor Bryan Guertin said in his opening statement Monday. “The plumbers, unsure of what they found, called police.”
When Constable Kevin Park arrived at the scene, the plumbers gave him a shopping bag containing what he described as a “fleshy like substance.”
“I’d never seen anything like this before so I wasn’t sure,” the officer testified.
When he and three others officers went to the basement apartment, a man opened the door. Park asked him what he had flushed down the toilet.
“OK, you got me, the gig’s up, it’s a body,” the man, identified as Strong, allegedly replied. “If you want to recover the rest of her, it’s in my freezer.”
Investigators found the rest of Hache’s remains inside a large freezer in Strong’s bedroom – and her blood was on the bedroom walls and ceiling, Guertin said, adding that his semen was found on her body.
The medical examiner is expected to testify that Hache had multiple injuries, including two skull fractures, but he was unable to determine a cause of death due to the state her remains.
Investigators also discovered a large hunting knife used for gutting and skinning animals, according to the prosecution team. Fitzpatrick’s DNA was found on the knife, and her blood was discovered in Strong’s freezer and bedroom, according to the report.
“Ms. Fitzpatrick found the same fate as Ms. Hache,” Guertin said Monday. “Both girls were vulnerable, were essentially homeless with no fixed address. Both girls suffered from drug issues and sometimes worked in the sex trade to help fund their drug habit.”
The prosecutor said fishermen also found a torso in the Oshawa Harbour on Sept. 11, 2017. It was later determined to belong to Hache, the Canadian Press reported.
“Mr. Strong was not on police radar until he was caught trying to dispose of Ms. Hache’s remains,” Guertin added.
Hache’s mother, Shanan Dionne, said outside the courtroom that the trial was not about her daughter being homeless or “a drug-addict toss-away that wasn’t loved.”
“Because she was so loved,” she said.
Hache’s aunt Michelle Guindon said the 18-year-old was pregnant and struggling with a crystal meth addiction at the time of her death, the outlet reported.
Fitzpatrick’s dad, William, testified that he had last seen her in the spring of 2008. He also said his daughter struggled with drugs.
“Miss you, love you Kandis,” the father wrote on a Facebook page the family launched in an effort to find the young woman.
When he read the heartbreaking message in court Monday, Strong showed no emotion.