More than 26 years after 13-year-old Candace Derksen disappeared off wintry Winnipeg streets on her way home from school, her parents Cliff and Wilma Derksen emerge from the court house Feb. 18, following the jury’s verdict convicting Mark Grant of Candace’s murder. Candace’s body was found in a shed more than a month after her disappearance. The DNA evidence that cracked the case was a contentious issue in the five-week trial, but after three days’ deliberation, jurors voted unanimously for second-degree murder. The sentencing hearing will be held Apr. 27.
Since Candace’s disappearance, Wilma has founded Child Find Manitoba, was president and facilitator of Family Survivors of Homicide, written books (Have you seen Candace? and Confronting the Horror), and was director of MCC’s Victims’ Voice. She reflected on each day of the trial on the Victims’ Voice blog, mylemonade.org.
“[The trial] was a very tough, but a wonderful life-changing experience for me. The conviction was bittersweet,” Wilma wrote in an update. “There is something very sad about sending someone to prison.”