Man’s charges upgraded to murder

MEDICINE HAT — A 34-year-old man has gone from being a suspected accomplice in the case of a missing southern Alberta nursing student to her alleged killer.

MEDICINE HAT — A 34-year-old man has gone from being a suspected accomplice in the case of a missing southern Alberta nursing student to her alleged killer.

But police have yet to locate a crucial piece of evidence in a homicide case — a body.

“We are still no closer to knowing exactly where she might be,” said Insp. Glen Mots of the Medicine Hat police.

But he added that police “are very confident the evidence that has been gathered will secure conviction.”

Police laid a charge of second-degree murder against Jerrison Herve Stopanski on Thursday.

He’s alleged to have killed 23-year-old Amy Lewis, who was last in contact with friends late in the evening on June 11.

Police began a missing person investigation two days later, and on June 15, they arrested Stopanski and charged him with accessory to murder after the fact.

Helicopters from RCMP and the British Army conducted aerial searches of areas surrounding Medicine Hat while police, fire and volunteer search and rescue organizations scoured the land looking for Lewis over the last two weeks of June.

The search was called off when all leads failed to find her.

Asked if Stopanski has co-operated with investigators in locating the student, Motz responded: “We continue to search for Amy Lewis.”

Motz said the second-degree murder charge was laid after DNA testing results providing enough probable cause to elevate the charge against Stopanski.

Police are not saying what evidence they have, what the alleged motive may have been or the relationship between Stopanski and Lewis.

Stopanski is scheduled to next appear in Medicine Hat provincial court on July 26.