Calgary and Edmonton police are working closely to locate the body of 69-year-old Vida Smith

Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit on July 31, 2020. SCREENSHOT

Calgary Police are looking for the public’s assistance in locating the body of Vida Smith.

Smith, 69 who was last seen by her family on Tuesday, July 21 has now been identified as a victim of homicide. 

Based on Smith’s daytimer it’s believed that she was meeting a friend named Kevin Barton at 12:30 p.m. the day she went missing, Calgary police said.

Police later searched a residence located in the 5200 block of 40 Avenue NW, in relation to the investigation.

Barton, also known as Chris Lee, has now been charged with one count of manslaughter. He will next appear in court on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Smith is described as 69 years old, 5’3″ tall, approximately 110 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, and a slender build. She was last seen wearing a black tank top, patterned skirt and was carrying a black purse.

Barton is known to police

According to police, Barton is known nationally to law enforcement. 

Barton is known to Smith and her family and police said they had a business relationship.

Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit said they while they have not been able to find Smith’s body they’re certain she is dead.

“We have exhausted all footprints of life and based on evidence, believe Vida was killed,” said Schiavetta.

So far there is no motive in the case, but police said based on CCTV footage Smith was involved in an argument inside of a white SUV which was parked in the Sunridge ATB parking lot. 

It’s believed that Barton travelled from Calgary to Edmonton on Wednesday, July 22, meaning the search for Smith’s body is Alberta wide, police said.

Schiavetta said they’re working collaboratively with Edmonton police. 

“We have made great strides in the evidence collection,” said Schiavetta.

“We are relying heavily on forensics.” 

Vida Smith, 69 who has been declared a victim of homicide by Calgary Police. CALGARY POLICE SERVICE

Schiavetta said police are still looking for other possible suspects, but Barton is the only person charged at this time. 

“In addition to searching for Vida’s remains, we are still investigating possible motives,” said Schiavetta,

“Our condolences go out to Vida’s family and we are committed to finding them answers.”

Anyone with information are asked to call Calgary police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877.

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