Jeffry Todd Taylor and Leanne MacFarlane. File photo

Arrests made in 2010 case of innocent couple killed

Arrests made in case of innocent couple killed in a case of mistaken identity, say police

Police have made two arrests in a 2010 double-homicide outside of Cranbrook that took the lives of two innocent bystanders from Salmon Arm.

Colin Raymond Correia, 41, and Sheldon Joseph Hunter, 30, were arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder, who are both former residents of Cranbrook and known to authorities, according to RCMP.

Correia was arrested on June 9th in Edmonton and Hunter was arrested a day later in Drumheller.

READ: Marking the sixth anniversary of the MacFarlane-Taylor murders

Police were called to a shooting at a rural residence outside Cranbrook on May 29, 2010, where officers found a dead woman and a man in critical condition who later died of his injuries. RCMP say there were early indications that it was a targeted incident, but the victims — Leanne Laura MacFarlane and Jeffrey Todd Taylor — were not the intended targets.

MacFarlane, 43, and Taylor, 42, had moved from Salmon Arm to Cranbrook to open a second business in addition to their cell phone retail store Shuswap Wireless Connections which operated in the Mall at Piccadilly. They had been living in a house beside the Highway 3/93 rest stop for three months on May 29, 2010.

That morning, the couple were shot in their home. MacFarlane died at the scene; Taylor died of his injuries later that day. Police quickly determined it was a case of mistaken identity.

READ: New leads in double murder case

The house had previously been visited by police investigators who were looking into a targeted shooting outside the Sam Steele Inn in Cranbrook in October 2009. The home had been linked to the drug trade.

A former resident of the home, Doug Mahon, was one of the assailants connected with the Sam Steele Hotel shooting.

Then, in 2013, three Cranbrook men were convicted in a complex murder plot that targeted Mahon in 2009.

“The murders of Jeff and Leanne were tragic and their deaths deeply impacted the lives of their family members,” says Sgt. Jason Smart, Southeast District Major Crime Unit. “The core group of investigators dedicated to this file would like to thank those family members for their persistence, understanding, patience and courage throughout the last eight years.”

The RCMP’s Southeast District Major Crime Unit has been actively investigating the murders since 2010, providing full-time resources to the investigation, which was dubbed Project E-Navid.

Over the years, as investigators tracked down leads, developments occured which allowed for the identification of suspects and the accumulation of an evidence package that led to the approval of charges from the BC Prosecution Service.

Numerous law enforcement agencies within and outside the RCMP also contributed to the investigation, say RCMP.

Both Correia and Hunter will be taken to Vancouver to appear in BC Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

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