July 12, 2012
Dad, son charged in 1978 murder, police say
By Lance Holdforth, Special to QMI Agency
BARRIE, Ont. — Police evacuated more than 20 homes in the city's north end Thursday evening as part of an investigation into the execution-style slaying of a man in this city nearly 35 years ago.
A hunter found the body of 26-year-old Michael Traynor with gunshot wounds to his chest and his hands bound behind his back in a forest north of Barrie, Ont., on Oct. 3, 1978.
This week, cops got a break in the cold case.
"Two days ago we had a major development," Const. Angie Butler said.
Barrie Police and Ontario Provincial Police arrested Donald Feldhoff, 54, and his father William Feldhoff, 75, on Wednesday, police said.
Donald is charged with first-degree murder and William is charged with accessory after the fact.
Police couldn't say if the two men were initial suspects in the case, but did say the victim and the suspects were unrelated.
The investigation led police to a home in the city's north end Thursday. Officers blocked off part of the street when police found explosive materials in the house.
Police later evacuated approximately 25 homes after they deemed the materials volatile and unstable. They estimated the evacuation would last 12 to 24 hours.
"We want to take all precautions at this time," Butler said.
Word of the police presence on the street had many neighbours shaken in the otherwise peaceful part of town.
"It's a very quiet residential neighbourhood with a few kids, but there's never been any incidents or any trouble," neighbour Scott Underwood said.
Dan Flear was shocked to find out the man who lived across the street from his parents, whom he knew as "Willy," was under investigation.
"We'd see him on the street and say hi," he said. "I know him and he was a good guy. This is like Leave It To Beaver street."
Neighbours said William's son Donald moved back in to the home approximately six months ago.
Traynor, an unemployed plumber, was last seen on Sept. 12, 1978, while at a bar with friends.
His family reported him missing less than a week later.
The two men have been remanded into custody.
Barrie is about 90 km north of Toronto.