Hours after allegedly murdering wife, Calgary man told 911 operator she may have been kidnapped by Black men

In the call, played in Candaele’s second-degree murder trial, the accused tells the operator he was fearing the worst after not hearing from his wife since the previous evening

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Murder suspect Ronald Candaele told a 911 operator he was concerned his new bride may have been kidnapped, 11 hours after he allegedly ran her down on a Bowness street, court heard Tuesday.

In the call, played in Candaele’s second-degree murder trial, the accused tells operator Madison Mandryk he was fearing the worst after not hearing from his wife since the previous evening.

Mandryk testified she received a 911 hang-up call around 3:07 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2020, 11 hours after the prosecution says Candaele, 36, murdered Melissa Rae Blommaert, 33, by intentionally running over her on 34 Ave. N.W. with a rented U-Haul van.

Candaele said the last he had heard from Blommaert was around 11 p.m., five hours before a U-Haul was captured on CCTV cameras in the 7900 block of 34 Ave. N.W.

Blommaert’s cold, lifeless body was found on the street shortly after 6 a.m.

In the emergency line call, Candaele told the operator he was just asking that police check on his newlywed wife’s welfare.

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The couple married the previous Dec. 1 and had recently been evicted from their Calgary Housing, although Candaele told Mandryk he had a no-contact order with her.

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“I don’t know what to do,” Candaele said on the recorded call, made an exhibit in the accused’s judge alone trial before Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Blair Nixon.

“I think something happened, like I honestly think she got kidnapped,” he said.

“She told me the other day that she was in trouble.”

The accused suggested Blommaert’s apparent disappearance may have been related to an incident in her past.

“I didn’t understand what she was talking about and then she told me that when she was younger these Black guys kidnapped her and tortured her and did all this stuff to her. And then all of a sudden she’s like ‘there’s a lot of Black people in the neighbourhood and I think they found me again, Ronnie, honestly,’ and she was startled and there’s been some weird activity in and around this apartment.

“And I’m not lying man, I’m sincere when I say my words,” he said.

“There is definitely something wrong here. Like I’m not kidding.”

Candaele also told Mandryk he may have seen Blommaert outside their apartment, but because of his no-contact order he couldn’t investigate.

“I could swear ma’am I just seen her outside the apartment, because I can’t go there, there’s a no-contact order.”

His trial is expected to wrap up this week.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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