Bodies allegedly visible from aerial photographs of Douglas Garland farm as triple-murder trial resumes

Warning: Graphic content

Douglas Garland

CALGARY – In evidence that visibly shocked jurors and family members, three figures — two nearly naked adults and a child — could be seen in aerial photographs of the Garland acreage shown in court Monday.

The images, captured by an aerial surveying company doing work for the City of Airdrie, shows what appears to be two adults, face down in the grass, wearing white underwear. Nearby, a third smaller figure can be seen.

Paul Gagnon, with Peregrine Aerial Surveys Inc., took photos of the area where the Garland farm is located in a rural part of Airdrie, on July 1 and 2, 2014.

Gagnon showed jurors a blow up of three outbuildings on the south end of the property taken around 9:23 a.m. on July 1, the day after Kathy and Alvin Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien disappeared from the couple’s Calgary home.

Beside the buildings could be seen three figures the Crown will argue are the bodies of the three victims.

Two of the figures in the photos, shown on courtroom screens as well as to jurors, appear to be human bodies barely clothed.

Court earlier heard a bag of about 50 adult hospital diapers was found in one of the buildings nearby.

At one point, as Gagnon zoomed in on the figures, the jury guard asked for an adjournment as at least one member of the jury needed a break.

When jurors returned, Justice David Gates reiterated earlier comments he made that jurors could ask at any time for a break if they felt they needed one.

In the same photos which allegedly captured the bodies, Gagnon was able to point out a person casting a shadow some distance away.

Gagnon also showed two images he took the following morning of the same area. In those photos the three figures were no longer there.

Before the images were shown in court, Gates warned everyone present there would be dire consequences if anyone in the courtroom gallery attempted to take photos of the onscreen displays.

Gates told the members of the public he is still determining whether the photos will be released to the news media.

Garland, 57, faces three charges of first-degree murder in the disappearance and slayings of the Calgary couple and their grandson.

The three went missing from the Likneses’ Parkhill home in southwest Calgary during the morning of June 30, 2014.

Their bodies have never been found.

Meanwhile, court heard about police meticulously pouring over closed-circuit TV camera footage from areas around the couple’s residence.

Const. Gerald Bouchard said he viewed surveillance video from a home down the street from the couple, as well as business CCTV from Macleod Trail South.

The footage shows a dark-coloured pickup circling the area before pulling onto 38A Ave. S.W. shortly after 3 a.m. that morning.

At one point, off camera, the truck appears to stop, its headlights illuminating the area ahead before turning off.

Bouchard said he could see a figure walk in the direction of the Liknes home, return to the vehicle and then head back towards the residence a second time.

The officer said he saw no pedestrian traffic in the area until nearly 5 a.m., when a figure returned to the area where the truck appeared parked. The vehicle then drove off.

Bouchard said a similar vehicle appeared on Macleod Trail later with what appeared to be a white tarp or another object in the truck’s box.

Jurors will hear testimony Tuesday from Vivian Mohrbutter, an RCMP expert in DNA analysis.

In her opening address on Jan. 16, Crown prosecutor Vicki Faulkner said the DNA of all three victims was found on the Garland farm.

By: KMartin


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