1984-xx Update

Added detail

Archive - 1984

Homicide #1984-xx

Date - 1984-11-30

Victim - Derksen, Candace (13)
Accused -Grant, Mark Edward (43)
Charge - 1st Degree Murder
Convicted - 2nd Degree Murder (2011)
Court of Appeal Overturned Decsion (2013)
Re-Trial Found Not Guilty (2017)

(Taken directly from the Winnipeg Police Website)

On November 30th, 1984, thirteen year old Candace Derksen, a grade 7 student at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, left school at the end of the day to walk home. Unfortunately, Candace never made it home. Her parents reported her missing to the Winnipeg Police Service later that day and members were assigned to search for her whereabouts.

During the next five weeks, a large ground search was conducted and police interviewed numerous friends, neighbours, and schoolmates as well as investigating many tips received from the public. All efforts to locate Candace were unsuccessful.

On January 17th, 1985 an employee of an Elmwood building supply business entered a remote shed on the business's property to obtain a tool. There, the employee discovered the body of Candace Derksen. Police were called and subsequently initiated a homicide investigation.

Homicide investigators interviewed and re-interviewed numerous friends, schoolmates and witnesses and reviewed tips received by the police. Although an extensive investigation took place all leads were eventually exhausted and the homicide became an unsolved or “cold” case.

Over the next 22 years, the original investigation has been reviewed, analyzed and re-opened as persons of interest were identified. However, these subsequent investigative actions did not lead to arrests.

In 2006, the case was assigned to the newly formed Cold Case Unit of the Criminal Investigation Bureau for further review.

The Cold Case Unit reviewed the case and, in particular, the forensic sciences portion of the investigation. At this time, new leads were established and pursued.

As a result of a comprehensive investigation known as Project “Angel,” the Winnipeg Police Service has identified a suspect in the murder of Candace Derksen. This morning, the Cold Case Unit arrested the suspect.

Mark Edward GRANT, 43 years, of Winnipeg has been charged with 1st Degree Murder and is now in police custody.


A trial in 2011 convicted Mark Edward Grant of 2nd Degree Murder, based on DNA evidence found on the twine used to bind the ankes and wrists of Derksen. Grant was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal overturned that decision in 2013, after the court ruled the trial judge erred by not allowing the defence to present evidence to the jury that pointed to another possible killer.

During the retrial, defence questioned the integrity of the police investigation and the credibility of the DNA evidence. DNA experts told the court the evidence was fatally flawed and scientifically corrupt and alleged the findings may have been biased. Defence also brought forth evidence that a 12 yo girl was found tied up in a train 9 months after Derksen's body was found. Grant was in jail at the time, suggeting someone other than Grant may be responsible for both crimes.