Accused in bizarre Port Burwell investigation released on bail

Sam Waters, in green, leaves the St. Thomas courthouse after being released on bail on May 15. Jane Sims/Postmedia Network

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Samuel Waters didn’t need a full-blown bail hearing to get a chance to go home.

Charged with committing an indignity to a body in connection with the grisly discovery on a beach near Port Burwell, Waters, 22, was released from custody with the consent of the Crown on May 15.

The Jarvis man is central in the growing mystery surrounding the body discovered with what appeared to be a freezer or fridge found at the base of a cliff at the end of Lakeshore Line, about an hour southeast of London.

The OPP haven’t released the name of the deceased. There has been no report of foul play or any homicide-related charges. All that’s been said is that there is no danger to the public.

That makes the incident all the more confounding, especially with Waters’ release after the unusual charge was laid.

Waters, a young man with a beard, who was brought into court wearing a Captain America T-shirt, said nothing during what was supposed to be a three-hour bail hearing.

Instead, Elgin County Crown attorney Lisa Defoe told justice of the peace Gordon Chaput that the prosecution was agreeing to Waters’ release because of his lack of criminal record.

A court-ordered publication ban was in place on the evidence in the case. Waters was ordered released on $3,500 bail without a deposit and with one surety from Port Dover.

He must report to the OPP detachment in Simcoe once a week, stay in Ontario and surrender his passport.

He was ordered to stay out of Elgin County, which would include Port Burwell, except for court-related purposes.

Waters was told he could not associate or communicate with six people, including his father Chad, who owns South Coast Hobbies and Rides in Simcoe where Waters works.

He is also subject to a weapons ban, but is allowed to use tools at his job.

His next court appearance is June 26.

Waters left the courthouse with his surety. People who identified themselves as his relatives and friends were quick to tell reporters that Waters is a good person and a nice guy.

Meanwhile, there has been nothing more from investigators about the case, almost like a there’s-nothing-to-see-here signal to the community.

The body was discovered by a local resident. The OPP used a helicopter to lift first the body, then the freezer from the beach.

– With files from Laura Broadley

 

 

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