'Ambition' tattoo led police to Bosma murder suspect, trial hears

Tips about a man with a tattoo on his wrist that spells "ambition" led police to one of the suspects in the disappearance and death of Tim Bosma, court heard on Wednesday.

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Sgt. Greg Jackson and Sgt. Paul Hamilton, of the Hamilton police, took the stand Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.

The Crown has alleged that Millard and Smich shot and killed 32-year-old Tim Bosma inside his truck, before incinerating his body. Bosma was last seen alive when he left his home on May 6, 2013 after he took two strangers for a test drive of a pickup truck he was selling online.

Bosma's severely burned body was found a week later. The accused have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jackson was called to the stand on the third day of the trial at a Hamilton court. His unit was assigned to Bosma's missing-person's case the day after the victim went missing.

Jackson's unit went through phone records, and discovered that Bosma had taken a call on the day of his disappearance from a number registered to "Lucas Bate."

Police could not find a person with the same name, and noticed the address on the phone contract led to a Toronto high school.

The same phone had called two other numbers, so Jackson called them and spoke to a man who said he was selling a Dodge Ram. The man told Jackson that he had taken two men for a test drive, and described one of them as having a tattoo on his wrist that said "ambition."

Jackson said they tried to obtain prints from the truck but were unsuccessful.

Jackson was told by two sources that Millard also had an "ambition" tattoo on his wrist, so he looked up Millard's phone records. Jackson told the court that the two phones were in similar locations at similar times, according to information from cell towers.

After Millard was identified as a suspect, Jackson asked two members of the police force to speak to him and confirm his description. One of the officers was Hamilton, who was called to testify next.

The detective-sergeant told the court about visiting the Millard Air airplane hangar in Breslau, Ont. on May 10. The hangar belongs to the business owned by Millard's family.

"When he saw us, he made a comment that the 'suits are here,'" Hamilton told the court on Wednesday.

"We asked him if we could look around the airport hangar. He responded, 'I thought you were going to say that,'" he added.

Hamilton said he was also tasked to look for a satchel. During the meeting, he noticed Millard putting a canvas satchel over his shoulder.

Hamilton said Millard then gave detectives his phone number and the address of a farm he owned in Ayr, Ont., near the Waterloo region.

The two officers then left the hanger and called Waterloo Regional police for help with surveillance.

The Crown alleges that Millard and Smich took Bosma's body to the hangar to burn in an incinerator after shooting the victim in his vehicle. Mark and Smich have denied the allegations.

Crown attorney Craig Fraser said police have video of the incinerator being used in the early morning hours after Bosma's disappearance.

He also said that two of Bosma's bones, and many fragments, were also found in the machine.

Clark Kingwood also took to the stand on Wednesday to testify that he found Bosma's cellphone in Brantford, Ont., after his disappearance.

Kingswood said he found the phone on May 9, while he was cutting grass at a Brant County business.

Jackson said Bosma's phone was turned off shortly after he went missing.

With files from The Canadian Press


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