By Clint Buehler
EDMONTON – An Edmonton man has been charged after allegedly killing a prostitute, stuffing her body in a hockey bag and transporting it the 750 km. from High Level, in extreme northern Alberta, to Fort Saskatchewan, near Edmonton.
The victim was identified as 36-year-old Theresa Innes, a mother of two and one of the many sex trade workers who ply their trade in the northern Alberta communities experiencing a boom in oil and gas exploration activity, and a demand for the women’s services.
Police have been unable to determine exactly when she died and our seeking information from those who may have seen hr since the last known sighting September 5, 2005. They have put out a call for anyone who may have seen her since that date.
Thomas George Svekla, 38, has been charged with second-degree murder, and interfering with human remains after Innes’s body was found in a house in Fort Saskatchewan following an anonymous tip to police.
Svekla caused some consternation when he mugged for the media, smiling, winking and winking for the media as he made his first court appearance in Fort Saskatchewan. He was more subdued the next day when he appeared in court in Edmonton.
The suspect was identified as a “person of interest” in the murder of 19-year-old Rachel Quinney, an Aboriginal prostitute whose body was found in a field just veast vof Edmonton in late 2004.
Mike Innes, brother of Theresa Innes, was critical of police for not posting Theresa as a missing person for months, not until her mother filed a missing persons report, despite repeated pleas for information about her whereabouts.
He admitted that he had evicted her from his home in August 2004 because she was using crack cocaine and had not heard from her since.
Police have neither confirmed nor denied that Svekla is suspected as the serial killer believed responsible for the death of numerous sex trade workers whose bodies have been found in the area around Edmonton.