Man charged in the death of Vida SMITH
Investigators have determined that missing person Vida SMITH was the victim of a homicide and have laid charges against the man we were looking for in relation to her disappearance. We are asking anyone who may have seen the accused, or his beige Cadillac Escalade in Calgary or Edmonton, to contact police.
On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Vida SMITH, 69, travelled to Calgary from Chestermere to meet with a friend. After she failed to return home and missed a medical appointment later that week, her family contacted RCMP to report her missing.
The Calgary Police Service began investigating, and on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, we released information about a friend that Vida allegedly met with while she was in Calgary. On Thursday, July 30, 2020, investigators located him in northwest Calgary and took him into custody without incident. We have also recovered Vida’s 2002 Nissan Altima, which police were previously looking for.
Police also searched a residence located in the 5200 block of 40 Avenue N.W., in relation to the investigation.
At this time, detectives have exhausted all footprints of life and based on evidence, believe Vida was killed. However, investigators have not yet located Vida’s remains.
Investigators believe that an argument, which occurred between a man and a woman inside a white SUV, parked on the west side of the Sunridge ATB, located at 2555 32 St. N.E., may be related to the investigation. The disagreement occurred on the day of Vida’s disappearance, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, between 1 and 1:30 p.m. Anyone who may have witnessed this is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
Kevin BARTON, also known as Chris LEE, 60, of Calgary has been charged with one count of manslaughter. He will next appear in court on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.
The investigation is ongoing and we are asking for the public’s help to locate Vida’s remains. It is believed that BARTON travelled from Calgary to Edmonton on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, and we are asking citizens who may have seen something suspicious to contact police. It is alleged that while in Edmonton, BARTON attended the Best Buy, located at 13924 137 Avenue N.W. Anyone who may have seen BARTON or his vehicle, a beige Cadillac Escalade, is asked to contact police.
“In addition to searching for Vida’s remains, we are still investigating possible motives,” says Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit. “Our condolences go out to Vida’s family and we are committed to finding them answers.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: "P3 Tips"
CASE # 20299322/3828