(The body of 23-year-old Simone Sanderson was discovered in September 2013. Photo: Facebook)
Outside a Winnipeg courthouse, Betty-Ann Sanderson stood with many of her family and called her granddaughter Simone Sanderson a ‘fighter.’
“I know she fought for her life,” said Sanderson.
The trial for the man accused of killing the 23-year-old mother of one began on Monday.
Kyllan Ellis has pleaded not-guilty to second-degree murder in connection to Sanderson’s death in 2012.
Sanderson’s body was found in a vacant lot in Winnipeg’s North End on Sept. 2, 2012. She was last seen walking in the area on Aug. 26.
In opening statements, Crown lawyer Joanna Kostiuk said Sanderson’s death was considered a cold case until 2014.
Winnipeg Police received some information which pointed them toward Ellis.
After a two-year investigation police arrested and charged Ellis in 2016.
On Monday Kristy Donald was the first to testify in front of a 12-person jury.
Donald found Sanderson’s body while she and her then partner were searching the area for empty beer bottles and cans.
Donald says she found a bottle sitting on top of a flattened piece of cardboard. When she lifted the cardboard she found Sanderson’s body.
“She was face down,” said Donald. “There was dried blood in her hair and cuts and bruises.
Donald then called the police.
Constable Doug Singleton was one of the police officers who first arrived on the scene.
He testified Sanderson’s body was in ‘advanced stages’ of decomposition. He said she had various cuts and bruises on the back of her legs confirming Donald’s assessment.
Singleton also testified police found a filet knife about five feet away from the body with hair and blood on it.
The trial is expected to last until June 1.