Police seek potential witness in disappearance and death of Chestermere woman

Detectives are trying to locate a woman they believe might have witnessed an argument between a missing Alberta woman and the man accused of killing her last month.

Vida Smith, 69, was last seen on July 21 after travelling from her home in Chestermere to an appointment in Calgary.

Her family reported her missing after she didn’t return home from Calgary and missed a medical appointment later that week.

On July 30, Kevin Barton, 60, who was her friend and business partner, was charged with manslaughter in her death, though her body has not been found.

Investigators believe the two had an argument on July 21 between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. inside a white SUV parked near 2555 32nd Street N.E. on the west side of the Sunridge ATB.

Calgary police are trying to locate this woman, believing she may have witnessed an argument between Kevin Barton, 60, and Vida Smith, 69, whom he is accused of killing. (Calgary Police Service)

On Thursday, the Calgary Police Service released surveillance images of a woman who was in the area and may have seen that interaction.

“From what we observed on CCTV, we believe that this woman witnessed something that caught her attention as she was walking by a vehicle,” said Acting Staff Sgt. Stuart Cole of the CPS homicide unit.

“We’re very interested in speaking with her and are looking for the public’s help to identify her.”

The woman is not alleged to have had any other involvement in the case aside from being a witness, police said.

The woman is described as short with a slim to medium build. She was wearing glasses, a black head covering, black backpack, black long-sleeve shirt, black leggings with a loose fitting black and white skirt, and black shoes.

Kevin Barton is charged with manslaughter in Vida Smith’s death. He is also accused of 27 firearms offences. (Calgary Police Service)

Police said it’s believed Barton travelled from Calgary to Edmonton on July 22 in a beige Cadillac Escalade. While in Edmonton, it’s believed Barton visited the Best Buy at 13924 137th Ave. N.W.

Police continue to search for Smith’s remains. 

Barton is also charged with 27 firearms-related offences in connection with five guns — two rifles and three handguns — that were found in the Escalade.

On Thursday, CBC News reported that Barton and Smith’s relationship involved blackjack card counting with ties to casinos across the country and in Las Vegas, according to sources.

Anyone who may have seen Barton in either city, or who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the parking lot on the west side of the Sunridge ATB, is asked to contact police.

Police say Kevin Barton, who has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Vida Smith, travelled from Calgary to Edmonton on July 22 in this vehicle, a Cadillac Escalade. (Calgary Police Service)

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