January 6, 2011
Missing man sought in bizarre fire case
By JEFF CUMMINGS, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - A hunt to find one of two men who disappeared within two days before a bizarre blaze where investigators found a man's charred remains in a rural Strathcona County garage continues.
Const. Wally Henry, a spokesman with the Strathcona County RCMP, says tips from the public are still coming in to find Brent Abbott, a 36-year-old from Saskatoon who disappeared Dec. 17, two days before the fire.
The other missing person, 42-year-old Edmonton resident Dino Kaz, was found dead Dec. 29 in a green truck along a rural road near Evansburg, roughly 107 km west of Edmonton.
"We've received tips on Mr. Abbot's whereabouts, but those haven't been confirmed," said Henry.
"We're still trying to obtain more evidence and interview people, but really, there's nothing as far as a break in the case. That hasn't happened yet."
The truck was registered to Kaz, while the Saskatchewan licence plate was registered to Abbott.
The missing pair are associates and "share a circle of friends," Mounties said.
Henry says police have interviewed a number of witnesses, who may have seen the vehicle moments before it was found at that location, in a case that has been challenging for investigators.
"It's not an easy investigation," said Henry.
"It's complex with the different locations where the incidents took place, and then determining whether or not there was anything criminal that was involved in these incidents."
The case dates back to Dec. 19 when fire crews were dispatched to the property near Township Road 524 and Range Road 213 sometime around 3:40 a.m., when they found a garage engulfed in flames.
The man's remains were found after a fire was extinguished. The body was so badly burned that investigators couldn't identify the gender until an autopsy was done by a medical examiner.
The body has yet to be identified by a medical examiner who has also yet to rule a cause in Kaz's death.
Barry Kaz, Kaz's older brother, says the man had a wife and no kids. He ran his own machine shop and was friends with the owner of the rural property.
"He was quite distanced from the family," said Barry Kaz.
"He was like the black sheep of the family, so we don't really know what he was up to and it was quite a shock to us all because we weren't aware of what was going on with him."
Barry Kaz says its rare for his younger 42-year-old brother to not be in contact with the family for such a long period of time.
"We're just waiting to hear if there's more evidence," said Barry Kaz.
Kaz was last seen by family and friends a day before the fire, on Dec. 18, said Henry. Abbott was last heard from by his family and friends in Edmonton two days before the blaze.
Mounties are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Brent Abbott to call Strathcona County RCMP at 780-467-7741 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.