For the past 14 years, Lucas Shortreed’s family have searched for answers as to who killed him.
“Anniversaries over the past 14 years have been tough,” said Jenneen Beattie, Shortreed’s sister. “Thanksgiving has always been tough since the accident happened over Thanksgiving weekend.”
Beattie said her brother’s absences are particularly noticed on special occasions.
“My wedding, he wasn’t there and he didn’t meet my daughter,” she said.
Shortreed was just 18 years old when he was killed in a hit and run.
On October 10, 2008, he left a party in Alma, Ontario. and was walking down 17 Wellington Road when he was hit by a vehicle fleeing the scene.
From the start, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) thought they knew what type of car it was, but for the past 14 years they have been unable to recover it.
“Having a lot of unanswered questions about what happened that night has left wounds longer than if we had had more information or completed it,” Beattie said.
But on Wednesday – nearly a decade and a half after Shortreed’s death – there was a breakthrough in the case.
Police conducted a house search in Mapleton Township, just a few miles from where Shortreed was killed in 2008.
The officers attacked two people and secured a vehicle.
Images provided to CTV News show a small white vehicle at the address being investigated by police.
Dave Halliburton, 55, has been charged with failing to stop at the scene of an assault and accessory accident.
Anastasia Halliburton, 53, was subsequently charged with aiding and abetting and obstructing justice.
The couple made their first court appearance on Thursday.
“It was really quite shocking to get that news,” said Judie Moore, Shortreed’s mother. “There really are no words to describe the feeling.”
“My first reaction was that it was a little bit unbelievable,” Beattie said. “After 14 years, you know, hoping someone comes forward with information that will lead to an arrest.”
“There’s definitely a sense of relief that the car has been found,” she said.
The family said they had never given up hope for answers about Shortreed’s death for the past 14 years.
“The community has supported us for the past 14 years, with billboards and people really trying to offer tips that they honestly thought would lead to an arrest,” Beattie said.
“I think there are a lot more resolutions that we’re likely to make this Thanksgiving that we haven’t had in the last 14 years.”