When Candace Derksen went missing on her way home from school in Winnipeg in the fall of 1984, it took six weeks for volunteers to find her body—just a few hundred yards from her home, in a storage shed, where the 13-year-old who loved horses had been bound with twine and left to die of exposure. That desperate wait would prove to be the blink of an eye compared to how long it's taken for her family to see justice. Now, almost exactly 32 years since Candace was found, her parents are bracing for another trial of the man whose DNA was linked to the twine and at the scene, reports Winnipeg TV News. Mark Edward Grant was arrested and charged with the killing in 2007, then convicted in 2011, but the verdict was overturned two years later.
The Manitoba Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge should have let the defense present evidence that a similar case had occurred nearby in 1985, where someone used the same knots to tie up another girl and leave her for dead in a shed—while Grant was in custody for another crime, reports the CBC. No suspect has been charged in that case, but the new trial is expected to include evidence of a third person involved in both crimes. Grant, who is in his 50s, insists he's innocent. "I have a hope that we'll get to the bottom of it this time," Derkson's mother, Wilma, tells the Winnipeg Free Press. The trial starts Monday and is expected to last 34 days. "It's very surreal, having to go [through] a rerun of a trial," she says. "We have no clue what this will do to us." (A teen witness may help solve a murder at sea in 1978.)