Couple who vanished in RV declared dead by courts

Bret McCann accepts that he will never see his parents again, but reading a court order declaring the missing seniors dead and an RCMP letter saying they were probably murdered a year ago still came as a shock.

Lyle and Marie Ann McCann

Lyle and Marie Ann McCann

EDMONTON — Bret McCann accepts that he will never see his parents again, but reading a court order declaring the missing seniors dead and an RCMP letter saying they were probably murdered a year ago still came as a shock.

“I don’t know if I was in denial, but it’s a lot of reality and finality,” Bret said Wednesday. “People talk about closure. I’m not sure if it’s real or not.”

An Edmonton court has granted an order declaring Lyle and Marie McCann dead so family can start processing wills and deal with the estate.

Bret McCann said a letter from the RCMP saying his parents were probably murdered on July 3, 2010 was also given to a judge.

Lyle and Marie McCann, both in their 70s, were last seen that day gassing up their motorhome in their hometown of St. Albert, just outside Edmonton, before a trip to B.C.

The burned RV was found two days later about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton. Soon after, an SUV they had been hauling on their trip was discovered in thick bush in the same area.

Their bodies have not been found.

The family has published an obituary in their local newspaper and will hold a public memorial service Saturday on what would have been the couple’s 59th wedding anniversary.

Bret McCann says the family wants to celebrate their lives and, in a way, lay them to rest. After the memorial service, relatives and close friends will take an urn of rose petals to the cemetery plots the seniors had previously reserved.