Only three days ago, Corey Volland was described in the obituary for Laura Wigelsworth as “the love of her life.”
Now, he’s charged with second-degree murder in her death.
Wigelsworth’s body has been found May 10 outside the small community of Vanastra, where the couple lived. Volland was arrested Saturday, and appeared in a London court by video Sunday.
“No way. 100 per cent wrong. Nobody that knows him thinks he did it, not a chance,” Brian Cooper, co-owner of Bucky Joe’s General Store in Vanastra, said Sunday.
“I’ve known him my whole life. I don’t think he’s even been in a fight his whole life.”
Some in a community that can never forget the wrongful conviction of Stephen Truscott — 59 years earlier in the same area, in Huron County north of London — are finding the charge hard to believe, Cooper said.
“There’s still someone out there,” he said.
OPP arrested Volland Saturday after an autopsy in London Friday showed Wigelsworth was a victim of homicide.
Police didn’t release the name of the accused, or his charges, citing the “ongoing nature of this investigation.”
But Volland, 29, made a brief court appearance by video in the regional court held for weekend and statuatory holiday cases in London on Sunday, where he was charged with second-degree murder.
He’s to appear in Goderich court in person Monday.
According to his Facebook page, Volland grew up in Clinton and worked at General Coach Canada in Hensall.
Volland and Wigelsworth had lived together with her two children and his daughter for about two years in a two-storey home at the corner of Regina and Quebec streets in Vanastra, the former Clinton Air Force base in Huron County.
The couple were to be married Aug. 18, and late last year posted their engagement photos on their Facebook pages. Wedding invitations had been sent out and some replies already received, said a friend who set up a gofundme page for Wigelsworth.
“She was excited to start their life together,” her obituary reads.
The youngest of three children, Wigelsworth worked for Middlesex Mutual Insurance in Ilderton, according to social media.
A friend told The Free Press she took regular evening walks in the neighbourhood, and was last seen walking about 9 p.m. Wednesday on Quebec Street.
She was reported missing about 9:50 a.m. Thursday, and about two hours later her body was found by a civilian on Front Road, about two kilometres northeast of her home.
The location is not far where 12-year-old Lynne Harper disappeared after a ride on Steven Truscott’s bicycle on June 9, 1959. Harper’s body was later found in a wooded area closer to Vanastra and Truscott was convicted of murder, ultimately exonerated five decades later in 2007.
It’s a story people in Clinton and Vanastra can never forget.
The discovery of Wigelsworth’s body Thursday led to an outpouring of sympathy on social media for her family and for her fiance, Volland.
The gofundme campaign to raise money for funeral costs and the children had raised more than $16,000 of the $20,000 goal by Sunday, and a candlelight vigil was planned for Sunday evening at the Vanastra Christian Church.
The funeral for Wigelsworth is set for Tuesday at the Falconer Funeral Home in Clinton. She leaves behind a 10-year-old son, eight-year-old daughter and three-year-old step-daughter, as well as her parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.