Candace Derksen's childhood friends testify at trial
Candace Derksen was a "fun and vibrant girl" and a "tomboy," the jury at her murder trial heard on Friday afternoon.
The first-degree murder trial of Mark Edward Grant continued Friday. The jury heard from two of Derksen's childhood friends, as a picture of what happened on her last day of school emerged through their testimony.
Dave Wiebe was 15-years old on Nov. 30, 1984 when 13-year-old Derksen disappeared. He testified that he knew Derksen from a bible camp and they were both attending Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute when she disappeared.
That day, he saw her after school and threw snow in her face during a snowball fight. Derksen told him she was heading home, Wiebe said.
Wiebe testified that she left school and he never saw her again.
Under cross examination, Wiebe said the snowball fight was innocent and playful. He said that he and Candace "liked" each other.
Wiebe testified that he was questioned by police several times after Candace disappeared and again in 2007 when police were reexamining her case.
Defence lawyer Saul Simmonds asked Wiebe if he knew he was a suspect in the 1980s, and Wiebe said he did not.
Wiebe testified about a difficult conversation with a police officer that occured after she disappeared.
The officer told him that Dersken would be "home before midnight." When Wiebe asked how the officer knew that, the officer replied that Wiebe would show him where Derksen was. Wiebe said he cried and told the officer he didn't know where to find her.
The jury also heard from convenience store manager Blaine Webster, who testified that Derksen stopped by his Redi Mart store to use the phone shortly before 4 p.m.
He said he didn't listen to her conversation or know who she was calling.
Under cross examination, Webster testified that his store was searched by police two weeks later.
The jury also heard from Adis Abdi, another childhood friend of Derksen. He was 12-years-old when she disappeared.
He was in the car with his mother when they saw Derksen walking in the direction of her home.
Abdi said he had a "crush" on Derksen, when asked by defence counsel. He testified that he was questioned "fairly heavily" by police, especially concerning graffiti about him and "Candace D" written on a railway trestle.
The accused, Mark Edward Grant, has pleaded not guilty.
The trial is set to continue on Monday.