A Southwestern Ontario man charged with killing a Mississauga man reported missing 17 years ago is also charged with assaulting two police officers during his arrest.
Chad Reu-Waters, 45, is charged with first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a human body in the death of Ashley Max Domenic Pereira, 33.
Elgin OPP announced the charges on Aug. 13 in the unusual case with links to Elgin and Norfolk counties and now the Greater Toronto Area.
Reu-Waters appeared last Tuesday in a St. Thomas court, where it was revealed he also faces two counts of assaulting a peace officer.
Two members of the OPP’s emergency response unit were assaulted while arresting Reu-Waters in Hamilton last Monday morning, Const. Adam Crewdson said.
Reu-Waters’ son, Sam Waters, 22, was charged May 9 with committing an indignity to a body. The charge was laid two days after an OPP helicopter removed a freezer containing human remains from a bluff east of Port Burwell following its discovery by a local resident.
Pereira, who was born in Uganda, was last seen in Mississauga on March 6, 2002, according to a now-removed online post from Interpol, an international organization that facilitates police co-operation.
But his family didn’t file a missing person report with Peel Regional police until Feb. 7, 2014, a spokesperson said.
“An incident occurred in March 2002 and Mr. Pereira left his residence on his own accord,” Const. Iryna Yashnyk said in an emailed statement.
“The family hadn’t heard from him in nearly 12 years and decided to file a police report with (Peel Regional police).”
Reu-Waters appeared in the prisoner’s box last Tuesday with a shaved head and goatee, wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans. He was ordered not to communicate with 16 people, including several family members and relatives of Pereira, before the case was adjourned until Aug. 20.
Hamilton-based lawyer Dean Paquette is representing Reu-Waters.
“I’ve represented him several times,” said Paquette, who wasn’t at his client’s Aug. 13 appearance.
Reu-Waters was charged in Norfolk County in 2017 with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and four counts of uttering a forged document.
He pleaded guilty to one fraud count – the Crown withdrew the other five charges – on Oct. 2, 2018, and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation under a conditional sentence, court records show.
Reu-Waters lives in Jarvis, a small community 20 kilometres east of Simcoe, where he owns and operates South Coast Hobbies & Rides. His son, who was released on bail in May, also works at the shop.
The downtown Simcoe business appeared to be open on Tuesday morning, but later closed before 11:30 a.m.
A neighbouring business owner said the hobby shop has been closed more often recently since Sam Waters was charged.
One Jarvis resident, who lives on the street where Reu-Waters and his son recently lived, said their house was sold shortly after a police search in May.
“They were here the entire day going through the house,” the neighbour, who asked not to be identified, said of investigators. “It was crazy.”
The neighbour described Reu-Waters as “harmless.”
“I have zero to say because he was a neighbour … They kept to themselves,” she said.
News of the first-degree murder charge, and the release of Pereira’s identity, brought some relief to residents of Port Burwell, a Lake Erie community east of Port Stanley.
“I’m glad that there’s finally some closure. That was the biggest thing,” said Tammy McCord, the owner of Aunt Tammy’s Off the Hook restaurant.
– With files from Ashley Taylor