Investigators scoured the farm of aviation dynasty heir Dellen Millard for the second consecutive day Tuesday in an effort to possibly find connections to the disappearance of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman who went missing in June 2012. The Toronto Police Service confirmed that the search conducted on the Ayr, Ont., farm was a response to new leads in the year-old missing persons case.
Yahoo News Canada reported Sept. 10 that Toronto Police returned to the farmland, located about 70 miles southwest of Toronto (about 100 miles west of Buffalo, N. Y.), that received considerable attention earlier in the summer during the investigation of Tim Bosma, an Ancaster, Ont., man that went missing after taking a test drive on Millard's property. Charred human remains believed to be Bosma's were discovered on the farm, leading to Millard's subsequent arrest.
Millard also owned a recently purchased livestock incinerator -- but owned no livestock.
A report from the Hamilton Spectator noted that Toronto investigators concentrated their search on a barn on the property, alternating the search between a stone basement of the main structure and a cinder block foundation of a newer garage addition.
Although Laura Babcock's disappearance was then suspected of being linked to Millard and cursory searches were made during the earlier investigation, more intensive scrutiny was called off at the time for lack of evidence.
Dellen Millard, 27, became a suspect in Babcock's case after police found that he was one of the last people she had spoken with prior to going missing. Shawn Lerner, Babcock's boyfriend, turned over the missing woman's phone records to police after noticing several calls to Dellen Millard, a man with whom she had had a previous relationship. Lerner said, according to CBC News, that he had at first confronted Millard with the information.
"At first, he denied it. I had the phone bill on me and produced it," Lerner said. "Finally he relented and admitted that they did exchange calls. And [he] claimed that she was asking him for drugs and for a place to stay and that he didn't oblige either of those requests."
Millard was arrested in May in connection to Tim Bosma's disappearance, which occurred earlier the same month. He was later charged with first-degree murder. A second man, Mark Smich, was also charged with first-degree murder on May 23 and is believed to be, along with Millard, one of the two men who went on the test drive with Bosma.
Dellen Millard became CEO of Millardair, an aviation maintenance company founded by his grandfather, in November when his father, Wayne, was found dead of an apparent suicide. That death is also being reconsidered by authorities as a possible homicide.