Cody Legebokoff: Canada's Accused "Country Boy" Killer
A Body in the Snow
He looks a lot like Boston's preppy Craigslist killer, and he's been accused of a similar set of crimes against women he met online.
Cody Alan Legebokoff seems like a regular Canadian kid. At 6'2 and 220 pounds, he's made for sports, and has spent much of his young life snowboarding and playing hockey in North British Columbia's Fort St. James area.
After high school, he became a mechanic at a Ford dealership in nearby Prince George. He started dating a new girlfriend, seriously enough that the then-20-year-old spent Thanksgiving 2010 with the young lady and her family.
But Cody Legebokoff allegedly had a secret life. And that wasn't just limited to the hours he spent online, where friends on social networking sites including Nexopia knew him as 1CountryBoy: He's now accused of having murdered three adult women and a 10th grade girl over 2009 and 2010.
Fifteen-year-old Loren Leslie had told her mother she was going out for coffee with a friend when she left their Fraser Lake home one fall afternoon in 2010. This friend may have been Cody Legebokoff. Loren's mother, Donna Leslie, has told CBC News that she thinks her daughter had become familiar with Legebokoff online, then met up with him at a party. Her father, Doug Leslie, recalls that Loren had hundreds of online friends who she'd never met in person -- and that after her disappearance, a few of them even came forward to tell him that his daughter had helped them to resist suicide. Loren's girlfriend, Charity Funk, says she'd never heard of Cody Legebokoff, but that Loren may have known him through classmates.
Late on November 27, 2010, two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, one from Fort St. James and one from Vanderhoof, met on a deserted road off Highway 27 to update each other on their jointly patrolled area. When they saw a GMC pick-up truck speeding on an old logging road that they knew was used for illegal hunting, they pulled the driver over. They then asked a local game warden to help confirm their poaching suspicions by tracking whatever animal its driver, Cody Legebokoff, might have been hunting.
What they found in the fresh snow wasn't elk or deer. It was the body of Loren Leslie.
Loren Donn Leslie was legally blind, with 50% vision in her better eye. Family and friends recall her as loving and trusting, but tough and principled. When Nechako Valley Secondary School officials wouldn't give her and her girlfriend a couple's discount to a school dance, they wore gay pride t-shirts in protest and braved the taunts of classmates.
Ironically, she wanted to be a forensic pathologist when she grew up. And the Leslies and Legebokoffs distantly knew each other: the victim's and accused's grandparents were part of overlapping social groups. Donna Leslie says she feels sorry Legebokoff and his family.
Once they'd discovered Loren Leslie, there were other bodies that investigators would soon connect to the case.