3 days after Sheree Fertuck went missing, her husband was the RCMP's prime suspect. Here’s why.
The lead investigator in the Sheree Fertuck case took the stand in the trial for the man accused of her murder.
Sgt. Tiffany Climenhaga testified why Greg Fertuck, Sheree’s estranged husband, was named a suspect just three days after she went missing.
Sheree was last seen Dec. 7, 2015 leaving her family farm near Kenaston, Sask. to go haul gravel nearby.
The missing person’s case shifted to a homicide investigation about four months later.
On June 24, 2019, Greg was charged with first-degree murder and causing indignity to human remains.
Sheree’s body has never been found and Greg has pleaded not guilty.
While Greg was charged nearly four years after Sheree disappeared, Climenhaga testified RCMP had its sights set on him much earlier.
GREG’S STATEMENT ABOUT RELATIONSHIP DIFFERED FROM KIDS’ ACCOUNT
Climenhaga testified the initial statement Greg gave to police stood out.
He told officers he and Sheree got along well and were even working on getting back together.
The lead investigator said Greg’s statement was vastly different to what the couple’s kids had to say.
They told police their father has a history of domestic violence against their mom.
“I felt like I was in a bit of a twilight zone,” Climenhaga told the court.
"What they [the kids] were saying and what he was saying, were on opposite ends of the spectrum.”
SHEREE FOLLOWED A PREDICTABLE ROUTINE
Climenhaga said Sheree’s missing person case rang suspicious because it didn’t match Sheree’s character.
Court heard Sheree is extremely predictable, follows a routine and is close with her family. Sheree had a flip phone, no social media, didn’t take drugs and wasn’t dating.
If Sheree would leave town, court heard she would make accommodations for a dog sitter. If she couldn’t find one, she’d bring her dog on the road.
Sheree’s red semi-truck was found abandoned at the gravel pit with the keys still in the ignition. Her flip phone and coat were left inside.
Sheree Fertuck’s semi-truck, seen here, was found in a gravel pit the day after she was last seen in December 2015. (RCMP supplied)
Sheree tried to stop a payment to Greg on the day she went missing
Greg occasionally worked for Sheree, hauling gravel. On the day Sheree went missing, she tried to cancel a payment to Greg, according to a statement Sheree’s mom made to police. Sheree believed Greg overcharged her for hours worked.
Court heard Greg often missed rent payments. Greg wanted to withdraw some of his pension money, but Sheree refused to sign off on it, according to testimony earlier in the trial.
Climenhaga said Sheree’s sisters, mother and kids believed Greg was responsible for Sheree’s disappearance.
BLOOD FOUND IN GREG'S TRUCK
At around 5 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2015, video surveillance shows Greg at a Saskatoon carwash cleaning his truck bed.
Climenhaga testified she thought it was unusual how Greg was wiping down his truck bed, and she believed he was possibly trying to get rid of forensic evidence.
A speck of blood, matching Sheree’s DNA, was detected on Greg’s tailgate.
The Crown is arguing Greg shot Sheree at the gravel pit, used a loader to put her in his truck and moved her body to a rural location.
Two gun shell casings from a .22 rifle were found at the pit.
Climenhaga testified, during a search of Greg’s house, a rifle was missing from its case.
The Crown’s case relies on Greg’s confession to undercover police officers.
The trial has yet to hear the details of the undercover police operation.
It will be up to a judge to decide whether the undercover confession can be admissible evidence.