Man charged with murder in death of Alberta woman whose body was found along remote B.C. highway

A man has been charged with murder in relation to the death of an Alberta woman whose body was found along a remote B.C. highway in a national park last Thursday.

Philip Toner faces a charge of second-degree murder, RCMP announced Wednesday, after the body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 northeast of Radium, B.C.

Toner, 41, was remanded back to Alberta after an appearance in court in Kelowna, B.C., on Wednesday morning. Prosecutors had applied to have Toner sent to Alberta as investigators allege Ware was killed in that province.

Toner was arrested Tuesday after being identified as a person of interest in Ware’s death. Police have said Toner and Ware were known to each other, but have not released information about the nature of their relationship. 

Philip Toner is pictured in an RCMP handout photo. Police released Toner’s photo in relation to their investigation into the death of Brenda Ware, 35, asking anyone who had contact with Toner to contact investigators. (B.C. RCMP)

Ware had been travelling from Didsbury, Alta., a small town north of Calgary, through Kootenay National Park. 

RCMP re-released a photo of Toner on Wednesday, asking anyone who had contact with him between May 4 and 11 to call police.

“Although a charge has now been laid in relation to this complex, inter-provincial criminal investigation, the investigation is still very much active and ongoing at this time, [and] we continue to share Toner’s photo in an effort to advance the investigation,” said Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon, acting officer-on-charge of the B.C. RCMP’s Major Crime Section.

Investigators have asked anyone who saw Ware or her vehicle between May 4 and 6 to contact them at 1-877-987-8477.

Ware is described as being five feet one inch, weighing 108 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. She was driving a red 2019 Jeep Cherokee with Alberta licence plate YPC 553.

Police are also looking to speak with anybody who may have encountered hitchhikers in the area or who has dashcam video from Kootenay National Park between May 5 and 6. 

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