VANCOUVER - Prince George, B.C., is reeling after a 21-year-old man awaiting trial for the homicide of a blind teenage girl was charged with killing three other women.
Alleged serial killer, baby-faced Cody Alan Legebokoff, was arrested Friday and charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection to the deaths of Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23, all in the last two years.
All were reported sex-trade workers and mothers.
Legebokoff is at the Prince George Regional Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial in the November 2010 slaying of Loren Donn Leslie, 15, of Fraser Lake, B.C.
The slayings of the four women – allegedly committed by a man who started killing in his teens – weigh heavily on a community already burdened with multiple unsolved murders and disappearances dating back decades.
RCMP said the killings weren’t related to the Highway of Tears cases, involving 18 missing women starting in 1969 along the remote 700-km stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, B.C.
However, they aren’t ruling out the possibility Legebokoff might be linked to other cases.
“We’re alive to that. We’re not going to discount it and we’re going to leave nothing to chance,” Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick told QMI Agency, adding the RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance.
The new charges are the result of a 10-month investigation.
Stuchenko was reported missing in October 2009, her body found four days later in a gravel pit in the Prince George outskirts.
Maas was reported missing in September 2010. Her body was found two weeks later in LC Gunn Park, a remote area of Prince George allegedly frequented by sex-trade workers.
“Cindy had a right to live, to overcome her struggles, to become strong, and to be the mother she wanted to be,” her family said in a written statement Monday.
Montgomery was reported missing the same day as Maas.
While her body has yet to be recovered, RCMP said there’s evidence to support the murder charge.
RCMP said Legebokoff extensively used social media and online dating to “correspond with friends, associates, potential girlfriends and others.” He frequently used the online moniker 1CountryBoy.
A person resembling Legebokoff with the username 1CountryBoy still has a profile on the site Nexopia, though the user has been frozen and the account temporarily disabled.
In November, an RCMP officer pulled over Legebokoff in his truck north of Vanderhoof, B.C., about 850 km north of Vancouver, after he’d pulled onto the highway from a rarely used logging road.
Two hours later, a search of the area uncovered Leslie’s body.
Leslie’s father, Doug, who continues to leave messages every few days to his daughter on his blog, Love Dad, wrote he hoped to get answers at Monday’s RCMP announcement: “Maybe we will have a better idea what exactly happened to you, and maybe but unlikely, WHY. I am still having a hard time with that …”
– With files from Michael Mui
My sympathies to the families. I hope their questions are answered soon.