Blood in apartment linked to missing woman: expert witness

Blood from a woman who has been missing for nearly four years and is presumed dead was found throughout the apartment of Cody Allan Legebokoff, including on an alleged murder weapon, an expert witness testified Wednesday.

Natasha Lynn Montogomery's name was repeatedly brought up as Jason Solinski, who conducts DNA analysis at an RCMP forensics laboratory in Edmonton, took the court through the findings he gleaned from the many samples police collected from the scene.

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Montgomery, who was 23 when she went missing, has not been seen since early September 2010, a few weeks after she was released from Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. Crown prosecutors are alleging Legebokoff murdered Montgomery as well as two other women and a teenage girl.

More than 30 swabs of blood taken from the kitchen, dining room, living room and hallway were found to be Montgomery's, Solinski testified, most with a statistical certainty of 6.4 billion to one. Similar levels of certainly were determined for blood found on a bed sheet, hoodie and box spring mattress police found in the apartment bedroom. 

Moreover, nine swabs taken from ax found in a linen closet were found to be Montgomery's blood, including one one on the wedge and three on the head. 

Montgomery's DNA profile was obtained by taking a sample from a toothbrush she owned and comparing it to samples provided by her parents. Solinski's statistical confidence that the DNA from the toothbrush was Montgomery's was 100 billion to one.

"To me that is a very strong, strong association and I am scientifically convinced that this can be used as a comparison sample," Solinski said.

Legebokoff gave no facial expression but a rash appeared to creep up the back of his neck as the results were presented.

Other evidence presented Wednesday linked Legebokoff to the other three of his alleged murder victims.

DNA from Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, whose body was found Oct. 9, 2010 in L.C. Gunn Park, was found on a pickaroon also seized from Legebokoff's apartment after his arrest, as well as on a sock found in his truck and on the sweater he was wearing when he was arrested.

And blood from Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, found on a couch seized from Legebokoff's apartment. Her body was found in a gravel pit off Otway Road on Oct. 20, 2009, about a year before Maas' body was found.

Three witnesses who lived with Legebokoff in a 1500-block Carney Street home at the time of the discovery identified the couch as his and one said she helped him load it into the back of his pick up truck when he moved to the 1400-block Liard apartment in April 2010.

Legebokoff was first arrested on Nov. 27, 2010 shortly after the body of Loren Donn Leslie, 15, was found near a gravel pit north of Vanderhoof off Highway 27. Blood from Leslie was found on a pipe wrench, utility tool, sweater, shorts and shoes seized from Legebokoff when he was arrested, the court has also heard.

Cross examination of Solinski will begin today, 9:30 a.m. start, at the Prince George courthouse.

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