Family of Vida Smith issues statement in hopes of generating tips to help locate her remains

Calgary, Alberta – The family of Vida Smith is issuing a statement in hopes of generating new tips that could lead to the recovery of Vida’s remains. We are also releasing a photo of the accused’s vehicle and asking anyone who may have seen it between Calgary and Edmonton on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, to contact investigators.

On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Vida SMITH, 69, travelled to Calgary from Chestermere to meet with a friend. After she failed to return home and missed a medical appointment later that week, her family contacted RCMP to report her missing. The Calgary Police Service began investigating, and based on evidence, detectives believe that Vida was killed. On Friday, July 31, 2020, investigators charged Kevin BARTON, also known as Chris Lee, 60, of Calgary with one count of manslaughter.

Kevin BARTON, also known as Chris LEE, 60, of Calgary has been charged with one count of manslaughter.
Kevin BARTON, also known as Chris LEE, 60, of Calgary has been charged with one count of manslaughter.

Despite laying charges, police are still seeking assistance from the public to locate Vida’s remains. It is believed that BARTON travelled from Calgary to Edmonton, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in his beige Cadillac Escalade. Albertans who may have seen BARTON or his vehicle in either city, or in between the cities, are asked to contact police. It is alleged that while in Edmonton, BARTON attended the Best Buy, located at 13924 137 Avenue N.W.

A photo of BARTON’s Escalade i
A photo of BARTON’s Escalade i

“Though we have laid charges, our investigation is not over,” says Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit. “We remain focussed on locating Vida’s remains so we can help bring some sense of peace to her family”.

The family of Vida Smith are also pleading for information in the case and are releasing the following statement:

“Tuesday, August 11 marks three weeks since I’ve seen my mom…You never know when you’re going to see someone for the last time.

Vida Smith is more than just a missing person or a victim…She’s a beautiful human being, she’s a friend, a mother and a grandmother. She loved her grandchildren more than anything in this world. Vida is so missed and forever loved by her friends and family.

We are beyond devastated and our hearts are broken knowing that we’ll never see her again.

Even though we are seeking privacy during this unimaginable time, we are asking for the public’s help… If you saw something or if you know something, please come forward.

Our mom deserves dignity and respect. We just want to find her and bring her home so she can Rest In Peace.”

Investigators are also still looking to speak with anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in a parking lot located on the west side of the Sunridge ATB, located at 2555 32 St. N.E., on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

Vida Smith - Murder Victim - Remains still not located
Vida Smith – Murder Victim – Remains still not located

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

APP: “P3 Tips”

Case # 20299322/3828

Calgary Police Service



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