Police are on the lookout for Lloyd William Cook, the man who failed to appear Thursday for a decision on whether he is guilty of manslaughter in the death of a stepson 13 years ago, Prince George RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass has confirmed.
Cook, 54, also faces charges of criminal negligence causing death, unlawful confinement and interference with a dead body in relation to the January 2000 death of Adam Scott Wiliams-Dudoward.
At the least, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett will likely find Cook guilty of interference with a dead body after defence lawyer Stephen Taylor conceded during closing arguments at the end of a seven-day trial that he had no case against that charge.
On Thursday, Taylor told the court he had received a text message from Cook saying his truck had broke down in the Williams Lake area and was given the same story when he reached his client by phone.
A warrant for Cook's arrest was subsequently issued.
Cook, who had been out on bail since shortly after the charges were laid in 2009, had also contacted the Williams Lake RCMP hours before he was to appear at the Prince George courthouse but has not been seen since, Douglass said.
Reached Friday, Taylor said he hasn't "heard a peep" from Cook and that a hearing is set for Monday morning at the courthouse to consider next steps.
At that time, Taylor said Parrett could determine that Cook is an absconding accused and be found guilty and sentenced in absentia.
Making such a decision on Thursday would have been premature, Taylor said, because there was some confusion over Cook's situation and at that time he was talking to his counsel.
Criminal justice branch spokesman Neil Mackenzie said a failure to appear and loss of contact with counsel do not necessarily establish that an accused has absconded.
"The trial judge must decide based on all the circumstances of the specific case whether it is a case of absconding," he said.
Douglass said Cook could simply turn himself into any detachment, "and the sheriff will be driving him up here in no time."
During the trial, the court heard the boy had been tied up and left in a bedroom of a Glenview Trailer Home where he lived with Cook and Adam's biological mother, Judy Elaina Williams, and younger brother. In early January 2000, Adam died after he stopped breathing and went into convulsions, possibly drug induced.
Fearing they would end up in jail, court heard that Cook and Williams failed to contact authorities and some weeks later, once the snow had melted, they buried his body in a wooded area outside city limits. Adam's whereabouts remained unknown for four more years, until Williams went to police with her story. During much of that time, Williams said she had been hidden away in a camper in the back of a rural property near Oliver owned by one of Cook's brothers and his wife.