Warning: Some of the details of the following story are disturbing
A trial is underway for a man accused of tying up, raping and brutally killing a young Winnipeg mother.
Schuyler Van Wissen, 26 when he was arrested, is charged with first degree murder in the 2011 killing of 33-year-old Gina Marie Swanson.
In a chilling opening address to the jury, prosecutors say Swanson’s hands were bound with panties. They say a child’s pajama top was tied around her neck, a bag was over her head and she was stabbed several times.
It was Swanson’s father, Denis, who found her body in her home on Edderton Avenue in Fort Garry.
In a videotaped statement to police played in court to start the trial, Swanson says he went to check on his daughter. She hadn’t shown up for work her boss at a Manitoba Liquor Mart store on St. Anne’s Road said she wasn’t answering her phone.
Denis says he stepped in the front door, and saw his daughter laying on her back. He said the knife was still “embedded” in her chest. He told police he knew she was dead, stepped outside and called 911.
Prosecutors say they will use DNA evidence to prove Swanson was sexually assaulted. They say that detail is when Van Wissen is facing a charge of First Degree Murder, the most serious criminal charge in Canada.
The crown says Swanson was working as a bartender at a social at Dakota Community Centre the Friday night they believe she was killed. Her body was discovered the next day.
Swanson was a single mother, raising a seven year old daughter in the house where he body was found.
The trial is slated to last about three weeks.