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Evidence gathered by RCMP connect crime scene and Belyea’s home: court hears

Posted on January 25, 2024 by admin

Brendan Miller
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Evidence was linked between Deborah Belyea’s Suffield home and a crime scene in Piapot, Sask. where her husband Alfred’s body was discovered, as two RCMP forensic identification officers took to the stand Jan. 15 during the fifth day of her second-degree murder trial.

RCMP Corp. Jacques Neri told the court he obtained a search warrant for Belyea’s home on Oct. 16, 2021 to examine and photograph the scene for evidence.

Upon first entry, Neri said while looking for signs of struggle that “the house was very organized, there was no visible sign of struggle in the house.”

During the investigation Neri and forensic identification officer RCMP Const. Melissa Archibault discovered and seized a small piece of plastic found wedged between the front door and cement pad.

Police believe it’s a missing handle from a large Tupperware lid that was found with Alfred’s body in Piapot, Sask. that had visible red staining.

As well, Neri seized pieces of fabric from a crafts room that “appear similar” to a heavily red-stained blanket found with the victim’s body in a municipal garbage bin near an out building on an abandoned rural property.

RCMP also found white rope in a garbage bag in Belyea’s laundry room that has the same width and “appears” to be the same design as the rope tied around a blue blanket with Alfred’s body wrapped inside.

Neri told the court he sprayed a chemical known as ‘Blue Star’ that has an illuminous blue reaction when mixed with blood in the dark and is used when officers presume blood is stained on a material or surface.

He applied the chemical reagent to most surfaces, walls and flooring in Belyea’s home. Four areas in the home reacted to the chemical. In the middle of the living room Neri told the court there was a “strong reaction of Blue Star on the living room floor.”

Further testing with Hemastix, another chemical test officers use to detect blood at a crime scene, led Neri and Archibault to collect DNA samples from Belyea’s kitchen countertop, the stairs leading up to her living room as well as her living room.

Archibault told the court that a Volkswagen Golf believed to be driven by Belyea during the crime was also seized and processed at an RCMP forensics laboratory during the investigation.

Several areas of the interior of the vehicle, including the steering wheel and driver’s seat, rear seat behind the driver and side wall reacted when Blue Star was applied.

Neri told the court a “large reaction along the bottom of the tailgate” was discovered and Blue Star reacted all around the opening of the rear hatch as well as the carpeted flooring.

During the three-day forensic investigation Neri and Archibault also used Blue Star to process evidence found at the crime scene in Piapot, including four area rugs with red stains found near Alfred’s body.

After further processing, the court heard three mats showed a positive for the presumption of blood after being tested with the chemical reagent Blue Star.

RCMP also told the court they seized yellow fabric, two laptops and a modem from Belyea’s home. They did not locate any human remains during their search of the home.

During a cross examination it was revealed that several compounds can cause a false reaction in Blue Star, including animal blood, foods with fibres like bananas, radishes and leeks. As well, certain paints and varnishes, bleach and metals like copper and iron can cause a false reaction.

RCMP Sgt. Candice Hoysradt, who arrested Belyea in the afternoon of Oct. 15, 2021, also took the witness stand.

Hoysradt told the court she observed Belyea without oxygen tubes while in police custody. Hoysradt recalls the accused being able to move around the Medicine Hat Remand Centre.

Hoysradt told the court she recalls Belyea climbing a 15-20-step spiral staircase in the courthouse during a hearing in January 2023.

Defence counsel Katherine Beylak suggested Belyea used the elevator during the hearing but Hoysradt told the court, “I one hundred per cent recall her walking up the stairs in the courthouse.”

During the trial it was revealed Belyea has had health issues following a stroke in 2001. She has been attending court wearing oxygen tubes.

The trial continued Jan. 17 with testimony from the medical examiner at 10 a.m. in Courtroom No. 4 at the Court of King’s Bench.

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