Disappearance of Loretta Saunders now deemed suspicious

Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Two people who knew Loretta Saunders have been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle after the missing Halifax woman’s car was found in Ontario.

Loretta Saunders, 26, has been missing since Feb.13.

Police are now considering Saunders’ disappearance suspicious, and the Halifax Regional Police/RCMP major crime unit are handling the case after her car was found in Harrow, a town near Windsor.

“We are looking for sightings,” said police spokesman, Const. Pierre Bourdages.

“Although there are suspicious circumstances, this is still a missing person investigation.”

Metro has learned Blake Leggette, 25, and Victoria Henneberry, 28, were arraigned Wednesday  to face charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and failure to appear in court.

Henneberry was wanted in a case where she was accused of uttering threats in January 2011 but it did not involve Saunders, said Bourdages.

Leggette’s warrant was issued from Calgary.

Bourdages said both knew Saunders, but could not say what the relationship was. They were last known to be living in Halifax.

Saunders, a Saint Mary’s University student, was reported missing by her family on Monday. She was last seen in the Cowie Hill area in Halifax in the morning of February 13.

Forensic investigators were at Saunders’ apartment Wednesday processing evidence from her last place of residence, Bourdages said, which is normal in a suspicious disappearance.

There are only “limited details” since the investigation is ongoing, Bourdages said.

“We’re still focusing on getting people to help us.”

Delilah Terriak, Saunders’ sister, started a Facebook group Tuesday and flew back to Halifax this week from B.C. to join with her family in the search.

Terriak said on Facebook she will be putting up missing posters around Halifax, and is urging people to use the hashtag #findloretta on social media.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen Saunders or her car since Feb.13 to come forward. The car is a Toyota Celica bearing the Newfoudland and Labrador plate HCP 543.

Saunders is described as an Inuk woman with fair skin, five-foot-seven, about 120 pounds with light brown straight hair.

Organizations: RCMP, Metro inc.

Geographic location: Halifax, Harrow, Windsor Calgary Saint Mary Cowie Hill

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