After a sixth person has been arrested and charged in relation to the murder of Tiki Laverdiere of Edmonton, RCMP say investigators are anticipating more arrests.
Reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, the 25-year-old woman had been in the area to attend the funeral of Tristen Cook-Buckle of Edmonton, himself the victim of a homicide earlier that month. One of the people arrested for Laverdiere’s murder is the mother of Cook-Buckle.
Laverdiere was last seen two days after the funeral and the last contact she had with family was via text message on May 1.
According to his online obituary, a wake was held for 20-year-old Cook-Buckle on Thunderchild First Nation Thursday, April 25. His funeral was also on Thunderchild, on Saturday, April 27.
In a press release just days before the wake and funeral, Edmonton Police Service said they were called to a home on April 5 to find a significant amount of blood on the ground at the back of the home. Later that day, a body was found in a vehicle near Vegreville. DNA analysis linked the two scenes, and an autopsy confirmed Cook-Buckle’s death was a homicide.
Among those charged with the first-degree murder of Laverdiere is the mother of Cook-Buckle, Nicole Buckle of Edmonton, who was arrested July 31. She also faces charges of kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a motor vehicle.
A second Edmonton resident, Jesse Sangster, was arrested around the same time. He is facing charges of accessory after the fact to murder and theft of a motor vehicle.
The most recent arrest is that of 33-three-year-old Soaring Eagle Whitstone of the Onion Lake Cree Nation on Aug. 6. At the request of the Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes Unit North, Lloydminster RCMP arrested Whitstone at a residence in Lloydminster. Whitstone has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a motor vehicle.
July 20, Shayla Orthner was the first person to be arrested, followed soon after by the arrest of Danita Thomas and Brent Checkosis, all of North Battleford. Orthner and Thomas have been charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body, and theft of a motor vehicle. Checkosis has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a motor vehicle.
As part of the investigation, RCMP released photos of a vehicle they were searching for. It was stolen in North Battleford on May 2.
When Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, she was described as being 5'4" tall and approximately 140lbs. The request for the public’s assistance in locating her said she had burgundy hair and typically wore grey contact lenses. It also said she had small tattoos on her neck with piercings to her eyebrow and nose. There was no description available for what she was last wearing.
Monday, May 20, Carol Laverdiere of Edmonton, posted on her Facebook page that her daughter had passed away and there were plans for a celebration of life, even as RCMP continued the search.
On June 10, Saskatchewan RCMP announced that her disappearance was the result of foul play and would be investigated as a homicide.
On July 11, North Battleford RCMP and the RCMP Major Crime Unit were conducting a ground search in a rural area outside of North Battleford when a police dog with the North Battleford RCMP Police Dog Services Unit discovered human remains.
On July 17, RCMP announced the remains were determined to be those of Laverdiere.