First degree murder charges laid in 2010 homicide

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Roger Byer, 57, is seen in this file photo. Byer was last seen servicing a bank machine on Jan. 20, 2010, in Melfort. His remains were discovered two months later. Classified by police as a homicide, a public plea issued last week resulted in the arrest of a suspect on Wednesday. 

Only a week after the RCMP issued a public plea for information, an arrest has been made in relation to the alleged murder of a Prince Albert resident four years ago.

 

Keeping details to a minimum due to the case’s position before the courts, RCMP Sgt. Craig Cleary said that last week’s public plea was key to arresting the suspect.

“We received multiple pieces of information,” Cleary summarized. “We can’t really give details exactly of how much information came forward, but we did receive information from multiple people … which brought the investigation to the point where it is right now.”

Roger Byer, 57, was a Prince Albert ATM technician whose job took him throughout northeast Saskatchewan.

Byer was last seen on Jan. 20, 2010, in Melfort. His remains were discovered two months later, on April 1, when a local farmer was checking his fields in an area south of Highway 41 between Yellow Creek and Meskanaw

His body and 2009 black GMC Canyon pickup truck were discovered in a heavily treed abandoned farm site.

An autopsy later ruled that Byer’s death was a homicide.

A black heavy-duty work truck was seen in the area at that time, with investigators believing it to have at least two occupants.

Although RCMP issued a public plea for information on May 13 of this year, the time between the homicide and this month has not been a standstill, Cleary said, noting that although at times lukewarm the file was never considered a “cold case.”

“The investigators have been working rather diligently since then,” Cleary clarified. “However, it was thought that a subsequent plea from the family along with collaboration with the media could perhaps either A: jog people’s memories or B: elicit some more information that could assist in the investigation, and that obviously did come to fruition.”

We can’t really give details exactly of how much information came forward, but we did receive information from multiple people … which brought the investigation to the point where it is right now. Sgt. Craig Cleary

Thanks to the latest bits of information police collected since last week’s public plea, RCMP had enough evidence to make an arrest.

Deployed south of Biggar in the Ruthilda district, RCMP members arrested a suspect on Wednesday without incident.

The suspect is believed to have been considered a friend of Byer and has been linked to the black heavy-duty work truck that was in the area of Byer’s disappearance, at the time of his disappearance.

“We feel that we have sufficient evidence -- enough to support the fact that we have the person responsible for the murder of Beyer,” Cleary said.

Although they have a suspect in custody, Cleary said that the RCMP have kept the case open, and that anyone with information is asked to come forward with whatever they can to aid in the investigation.

“We’ve still got to make sure we cover off all our bases and conduct all the necessary interviews that need to be done, as well.”

Daniel Smith, 57, of Ruthilda faces one count of first degree murder. He appeared in court in Saskatoon on Thursday morning. 

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Melfort, Yellow Creek Biggar Saskatoon

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