A partially dismembered body was discovered at an abandoned farm site near Piapot in 2021, and a judge has just handed down a significant guilty verdict to the perpetrator.
Alfred Belyea of Suffield, Alta. was found deceased, wrapped in garbage bags and blankets, inside a residential garbage bin on Oct. 15, 2021. Both arms were missing from his body.
The former Cypress County councillor's wife, Deborah Belyea, was found guilty of second-degree murder and indecency to a dead body on Jan. 17, 2024 in Medicine Hat, Alta.
According to Justice Dallas K. Miller’s decision posted to canlii, the Crown established that Deborah Belyea had the intent required for murder.
“In finding that Deborah Belyea did commit the murder by stabbing Alfred Belyea at least four times, it is clear that she committed an unlawful act,” Justice Miller concluded. “It is also clear that Alfred Belyea has died from that unlawful act and that the stabbing and death did happen in the Belyea residence.”
The 72-year-old was reported missing by his wife on Oct. 11, 2021, at which time she claimed she hadn’t seen him in three days.
A letter written by Deborah addressed to her three daughters on Oct. 15th contained a hand drawn map from her home in Suffield to Medicine Hat, Irvine, Walsh, Alta., and then Maple Creek and Piapot, Sask., where her husband’s body was then found by RCMP. She was arrested in her home that day.
The letter also contained the location of Deborah's and Alfred’s wills.
RCMP investigation connected evidence at the farmyard scene to the Belyea house and vehicle. DNA and blood, a residential garbage bin missing from the house, and rope, blankets, and towels matching materials that were found in the home, were some of the items collected.
The autopsy report revealed that Alfred died from several stab wounds to the neck and chest. Additionally, toxicology results showed the presence of various drugs with sedative properties in his system at the time of death, including Morphine, Codeine, Zopiclone/Eszopiclone, Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Bupivacaine (Marcaine), Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Acetone, and Isopropanol.
Her vehicle was found to contain Alfred’s blood and was allegedly used to transport the garbage bin with his body to Piapot.
The Crown argued that Deborah was the only person with the exclusive opportunity to murder her husband, as per her account of remaining in the residence all weekend and being the sole person present.
Deborah Belyea did not testify, nor did she call any evidence in her defence. She will serve a life sentence.
The Belyeas' daughters, Trina, Robyn, and Jodi organized a GoFundMe in November of 2021 to help them get by as they took time away from working to grieve the loss of their father. While any amount of funds was appreciated, they asked that those who knew Alfred share photos and memories of him.
They described him as a dedicated father with one of the biggest hearts, whose family meant everything to him. The fundraiser is still active to this day.
A murder weapon was never found, and both of Alfred's arms remain missing.