Winnipeg police say they don't know where the body of a missing woman is, but say they knew she was dead when they searched the home of a man accused of murdering her.
Sgt. John O'Donovan says investigators don't believe Christine Wood had any previous connection to 30-year-old Brett Ronald Overby before last Aug. 19 — the day Wood was last seen alive.
Overby is charged with second-degree murder.
O'Donovan won't say what makes police certain Wood is dead, but he says there's not even a "one in 20 trillion chance" she's alive.
"We checked that house from top to bottom and we were able to provide evidence to the Crown's office that Christine Wood was killed within that house. Not only was she present, but she was killed within that house," O'Donovan told a news conference Monday.
"We have no information from the person that's accused of this as to where she may be, but we have a couple of ideas and we will be checking some places as time goes by."
Wood, who was 21 and from Oxford House First Nation, was in Winnipeg with her parents to accompany a relative to a medical appointment.
She never came back to her downtown hotel room after going out that night.
O'Donovan said police are asking the public for any information that could lead to the discovery of Wood's remains.
A statement released by Wood's parents, George and Melinda Wood, said the past eight months since their daughter disappeared have been the most difficult of their lives.
They thanked family and friends in Oxford House and Winnipeg who have supported them and helped in the search.
"The love and kindness we have experienced has helped carry our family through this terrible time. We are grateful for the Winnipeg Police Service's efforts to find our daughter and are hopeful for some form of justice," the couple said in the statement.
In the weeks that followed Wood's disappearance, numerous unconfirmed sightings of her were reported and police Chief Danny Smyth said they were diligent in following them up.
But by January with no new leads, Smyth said homicide investigators became involved.
O'Donovan said police sought electronic records from phone companies as soon as she disappeared. But he said the requests required warrants and production orders — some for outside Canada — which took months to obtain.
The records pointed the investigation to new people and places, O'Donovan said, eventually leading to the address where police believe Wood died.
He said police don't know why she was killed.
A vigil for Wood is to be held in Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, told the news conference that Wood's parents continued to hope she was alive and, without the body, may still be hoping.
"I think they even have faith right now that miracle upon miracle that she's still alive," North Wilson said. "Until they see the body I think they have a faint hope that she's still there."
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the accused's name was Brent.