Police sting resulted in charges for man accused of killing wife, burying body
CALGARY — The Crown says a man accused of killing his wife confessed to undercover officers that he strangled her and buried her body in the basement of the home they shared with their two children.
The trial of Allan Shyback, who is charged with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body, began Tuesday. He is accused of killing Lisa Mitchell, 31, who was last seen walking from her house to a convenience store in October 2012.
An undercover operation police launched in 2013 ended with Shyback’s arrest in Winnipeg a year later.
“It ended on Dec. 5, 2014, with the accused confessing to have killed Lisa Mitchell by strangling her to death,” prosecutor Heather Morris said in her opening statement.
“The accused took significant steps to cover up the death and cover up his role in the death. At the end of the day, the Crown will prove the accused intended to cause the death of Lisa Mitchell.”
Mitchell’s mother told the judge hearing the case that her daughter and Shyback had a “volatile” on-again, off-again relationship.
Peggy Mitchell said she usually talked to her daughter two or three times a week and last saw her Oct. 28, 2012. She became worried when Lisa didn’t show up for a shift she was supposed to be working at a bar in Longview, Alta., the following weekend.
Mitchell testified that Shyback told her he had gone to the store and, when he returned 20 minutes later, his wife was gone.
Mitchell said she received an email that same day saying her daughter had met someone and had to get away.
“It seemed to make sense but it wasn’t her. It wasn’t personal. It wasn’t the way she spoke.”
Mitchell was also suspicious when she received a voice mail on her phone at 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2012.
“Hey, I’m OK,” a woman’s voice said on the tape. “Sometimes my weeks get crazy, you know, and it was quiet for a while, and then all of a sudden this happened and, within a half a day, I should, but he’s back now and I gotta go. Love you,” the voicemail continued.
“She wouldn’t have called me at that time. She would have called me when we maybe could have spoken,” Mitchell said.
“It was just like her words ... (but) it was totally, totally off.”
Shyback admitted in an agreed statement of facts filed with the court to using previously collected recordings of his wife’s voice to create the message left on Peggy Mitchell’s phone.
Court heard that in a search of the crime scene, police recovered a data disc containing eight conversations. As well, an Internet history at the end of December 2012 on the home’s computer found searches on how body decomposition is affected by salt, lye, concrete, lack of air and lack of insect activity.
Further searches in April 2013 sought information regarding murder legislation in Canada.
The trial is scheduled to run until the end of next week.
- Bill Graveland
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