'This isn't over' McCann family says

Bret McCann in an August 16, 2010, file photo. AMBER BRACKEN/EDMONTON SUN/ QMI AGENCY

Bret McCann in an August 16, 2010, file photo. AMBER BRACKEN/EDMONTON SUN/ QMI AGENCY

Pamela Roth, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET

EDMONTON ó Last summer, Bret McCann was feeling positive and happy.

After meeting with RCMP and a Crown prosecutor, he was Travis Vader, the man accused of killing his elderly parents, would go straight to trial, skipping the six-week preliminary hearing that was scheduled to begin in the fall.

The two-week trial was drawing near, slated to begin April 28, but in a surprise move on Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Michelle Doyle directed a stay of proceedings just before a publication ban hearing was set to begin.

A stay of proceedings is usually directed when there is not a reasonable likelihood of conviction, but the charges can be resurrected within one year.

The McCann family was not available for comment following the court proceedings, but later released a statement asking for privacy at this time.

"This isn't over. Lyle and Marie McCann are still missing," said the family in the statement. "

Though we see this as a delay in our search for justice, our family remains confident that the ongoing investigation will lead to the conclusion of this matter.

Lyle, 78, and Marie, 72 were last seen fuelling up their motorhome in St. Albert, Alta., on July 3, 2010. They were travelling to Chilliwack, B.C., for a vacation and were scheduled to meet their daughter in nearby Abbotsford, B.C., but they never arrived.

Two days after they were last seen, their RV was found engulfed in flames near the Minnow Lake campground, 20 km east of Edson, Alta. The SUV they were towing was discovered six days later in a remote wooded area near Carrot Creek, Alta., 30 km east of Edson.

Despite exhaustive efforts to locate the missing couple, their bodies have yet to be found.

Their deaths are presumed to have occurred near the town of Peers, Alta., about 40 km northeast of Edson.

As $60,000 reward remains for information leading to the couple's whereabouts.

Vader was named a person of interest early in the case, but first-degree murder charges weren't laid until April 2012.

Twitter: @SUNpamelaroth


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