Canada Laura Babcock murder trial: These are the people who tried to help in the days before her disappearance

14:35  04 november  2017
14:35  04 november  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

Murder trial told of constant party scene at Dellen Millard home, linked to alleged love triangle

  Murder trial told of constant party scene at Dellen Millard home, linked to alleged love triangle Millard’s bungalow was a hub of fun and games before his arrest, an old friend testified. But it was the people who visited that mattered most Thursday.Millard’s detached bungalow on Maple Gate Court in west Toronto was a whirling hub of fun and games before his arrest, court heard at the trial of Millard, 32, and Mark Smich, 30, of Oakville, for the murder of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman who vanished in 2012. Her body has not been found.

These are some of the people who helped Laura Babcock in the final weeks and days before she disappeared the summer of 2012. If you believe the Crown's theory, Babcock was killed by Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto, and his best friend Mark Smich, 30 of Oakville, Ont.

She wanted to run her own escort agency, Shirinian said, who declined to go with Babcock that day . Court has heard that Babcock had told several people that she was trying to find out whatever ailed her mind.

Millard, centre, questions Lerner in court on Oct. 24. © Pam Davies/CBC Millard, centre, questions Lerner in court on Oct. 24.

A former boyfriend turned private detective, a Good Samaritan and a random act of kindness, and so many friends who offered up a place to crash. These are some of the people who helped Laura Babcock in the final weeks and days before she disappeared the summer of 2012.

If you believe the Crown's theory, Babcock was killed by Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto, and his best friend Mark Smich, 30 of Oakville, Ont.

Both have pleaded not guilty at the ongoing Ontario Superior Court trial.

Read CBC Toronto's coverage previous coverage of the Babcock murder trial:

Babcock depressed before disappearance: witness

  Babcock depressed before disappearance: witness Babcock depressed before disappearance: witnessJeff Wilson, a film and television producer, says he met Babcock at a bar in Toronto's west end in the summer of 2012 and she asked to move in with him right away.

Shawn Lerner, a former boyfriend who had broken up with Babcock months before she disappeared , told police that she suffered from severe depression at times, and was trying to get proper diagnosis for her mental health issues, court heard.

She wanted to run her own escort agency, Shirinian said, who declined to go with Babcock that day . Court has heard that Babcock had told several people that she was trying to find out whatever ailed her mind.

Babcock, the jury has heard, was the odd woman out in a love triangle, involving Millard and his girlfriend at the time, Christina Noudga, also of Toronto.

Over the last two weeks, the prosecution has followed Babcock's path — where she was and who she was spending time with — up until the evening of July 3.

Her body was never found.

These are among the last people to spend time with Babcock; all of them trying to help her in their own way.

The good guy, turned private detective

An amazing girl, with a big heart — that's how Shawn Lerner remembers his former girlfriend.

The two had long broken up by that summer but remained close friends.

Lerner, 29, had given Babcock her most cherished possession, after all, her little Maltese dog named Lacey.

Accused killer didn't care about love triangle: witness

  Accused killer didn't care about love triangle: witness A man charged with murder told court on Monday that he slept with several women and didn't care "too much" about an ongoing feud between his girlfriend and Laura Babcock, a Toronto woman who the Crown alleges was killed for being the odd one out in a love triangle. Dellen Millard painted himself as a bad boyfriend to Christina Noudga, a woman he was dating in 2012 when Babcock disappeared.

Laura Babcock murder trial Day 1. Laura Babcock murder trial Day 2. " She knew the right buttons to press to really upset [ people ]," she testified. Millard added his own observation, calling Babcock manipulative, suggesting she would blackmail people about whatever she was obsessing

Home Page News Story, Top News Story, Toronto-Dellen Millard, jury, Laura Babcock , Mark Smich, murder , trial . They stayed friends and he tried to help her in June 2012, when she had no where to stay and was working as an escort.

He told the jury the last time he saw Babcock was at the end of June 2013.

When a few days passed and he heard nothing, he set out to find her.

He started a Facebook group and managed to track down her phone bill, calling all her contacts and keeping track in a small notebook.

As he scanned Babcock's last phone bill, he discovered her final eight phone outgoing calls were to Millard.

He reached out to Millard in a text message: "Really concerned for her safety… Not trying to point a finger, just wondering if she might have mentioned something in passing that can help us find her."

Millard eventually wrote back: "Heard about that, don't know where she is."

Lerner pressed Millard to meet him for coffee at Starbucks in Mississauga. Millard told him Babcock was mixed up with drugs and the wrong people.

Before they parted ways, Millard told Lerner he should have "no reasonable expectation of finding her."

Babcock struggled with fear of death, court hears

  Babcock struggled with fear of death, court hears Babcock struggled with fear of death, court hearsJill Cameron walked the jury in the murder trial through the young woman's mental health records, which detailed more than a dozen visits to specialists in the year leading up to her disappearance in the summer of 2012.

But the months leading up to Babcock 's disappearance were rocky. She had been working in the online sex trade, police confirmed, and had recently moved out of her parents' Etobicoke home. Laura Babcock was caught up in a love triangle before she disappeared , murder trial hears.

He had loaned her an iPad the week before she disappeared , to help with her search for an apartment. By June, Babcock had become transient after a falling out with her family, court heard. Laura Babcock trial . Mark Smich.

Millard, who is acting as his own lawyer, questioned Lerner's recollection of their encounter.

Lerner remained steadfast. "This was probably the most important meeting of my life. The things I remember clearly, I remember clearly."

The Good Samaritan

Jessica Trevors met Babcock by chance.

The pastry chef, 29, was smoking a cigarette at midnight on her front porch in late June and watched as a cab pulled up and a young woman, with a pile of luggage and a tiny white dog, got out and settled on a park bench.

Trevors, who testified on Oct. 30, crossed the street to introduce herself.

Babcock told Trevors she had nowhere to go.

She and her constant companion, Lacey, wound up staying with Trevors for four days.

Eventually she drove Babcock home, to her parents' place.

"I felt comfortable taking her there, because that's where I would want to go," she said.

It was June 30 when she stood on the front steps of Babcock's childhood home.

The two women exchanged phone numbers and hugs.

They'd talk again later the same day.

Trevors let Babcock know she forgot Lacey's food and water dishes, and a pair of sunglasses at her apartment. Babcock promised she'd pick them up.

Babcock's last call connected with tower near Millard's home: court

  Babcock's last call connected with tower near Millard's home: court Babcock's last call connected with tower near Millard's home: courtDanielle Fortier, who works with Rogers Communications, says that call was made at 7:03 p.m on July 3, 2012, and no texts or messages have been sent from the phone since then.

CityNews court reporter Marianne Boucher is providing updates from the trial throughout the day . Mark Smich of Oakville and Dellen Millard of Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Laura Babcock , who disappeared in the summer of 2012.

After Laura Babcock 's disappearance , her ex-boyfriend Shawn Lerner went so far as to file a complaint But Dellen Millard, who is representing himself in court, is one of the two defendants on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock , whose remains have never been found.

She never did.

Friends who listened, cared

That May, Elisabeth Van Rensburg, was driving home to Toronto from Kingston when she saw Babcock's number flash on her phone.

Millard turned and glared at the public gallery as Justice Michael Code called Trevors a 'Good Samaritan,' thanking her for her act of kindness. © Pam Davies/ CBC Toronto Millard turned and glared at the public gallery as Justice Michael Code called Trevors a 'Good Samaritan,' thanking her for her act of kindness.

They'd been friends, she told the jury, since they were born.

That conversation — two full hours, the entire drive — would be their last.

Van Rensburg said she mostly just listened.

Pastry chef Jessica Trevors, 29, reached over and patted Babcock's parents on the shoulders after she finished her testimony. © Chris Dunseith/CBC Pastry chef Jessica Trevors, 29, reached over and patted Babcock's parents on the shoulders after she finished her testimony.

Stefan Blasiak was also in constant communication with Babcock, one of his best friends.

On July 1, he offered her a place to stay. At the time, he lived at home with his parents who kept a strict no-dogs rule.

Babcock, who never parted with Lacey for long, would stay just one night. They watched movies, ate burritos and laughed a lot.

Blasiak captured this video of Babcock on his phone that night: 

Babcock, he explained, liked to meow in public — just to get a laugh.

The clip played on several large screens in the courtroom, Babcock, blonde with big sunglasses, and an infectious grin.

Laura Babcock murder trial: What happens if Dellen Millard testifies? .
Accused killer Dellen Millard is acting as his own lawyer. What happens if he wants to testify? Dellen Millard, charged with first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Toronto woman Laura Babcock, is representing himself — something that is almost unheard of in Canada on such severe charges.

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