Murder charges laid in Loretta Saunders case

Haley Ryan
Published on February 27, 2014

Police have laid murder charges against two people in the death of Loretta Saunders, less than a day after her body was found in New Brunswick.

Victoria Henneberry, 28, and Blake Leggette, 25, were each charged with first-degree murder Thursday afternoon by Halifax police in the killing of the 26-year-old Halifax woman.

Ontario police arrested Henneberry and Leggette last week after they were found near Windsor, Ont.,  and they have been charged with stealing Saunders’ car.

Read more about the Loretta Saunders case here.

They also face charges of fraud related to allegedly using Saunders’ debit card that will be handled by Ontario police.

Police ruled Saunders’ missing person case a homicide on Wednesday afternoon, and said her body had also been found in a median off the Trans-Canada Highway near Salisbury.

Saunders’ remains have been taken to the coroner’s office in Saint John, police said, where an autopsy will be conducted over the next few days.

Both Henneberry and Leggette are due back in court Friday for a bail hearing, and to face the new murder charges.

They were reportedly renting an apartment from Saunders, who hadn’t been seen since she left her Cowie Hill Road apartment on Feb. 13. She was officially reported missing by her family a few days later.

Her boyfriend, Yalcin Surkultay, has said Saunders was staying with him while subletting to the pair.

Saunders was an Inuk woman from Labrador, and in the last year of her honour’s sociology degree at Saint Mary’s University. Saunders was working on a thesis about missing and murdered Aboriginal women.