Concern for a missing 74-year-old grew after investigators found Lise Fredette’s glasses and house keys in her driveway near her car.
Fredette was last seen at her workplace at Walmart on Chemong Rd. shortly after she finished her shift at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Police, who said their is no threat to public safety, would like anyone who has seen Fredette in the last few days to get in touch with them. They are also asking residents to check their property for anything unusual or concerning.
The search expanded Friday to include a helicopter, marine unit and ground team, with the investigation expanding to include friends and acquaintances.
“We are covering a large expansive geography in the area surrounding her home and we have yet to find Lise Fredette,” Peterborough police Det. Staff Sgt. Lynne Buehler during a press conference held Friday afternoon.
Fredette is described as five-feet, four-inches tall, 120 pounds, with short blond hair and hazel eyes.
She was last seen wearing a three-quarter length black down filled winter jacket, dark pants and black shoes and was carrying a dark coloured purse and a blue soft-shelled lunch bag.
On Thursday, when Fredette did not arrive to work, Walmart staff called her family to ask if they knew what had happened, because they said it is highly uncharacteristic of her to miss work.
When Fredette’s family went to her home, where she lives alone, they found her car in her driveway, but she was not home.
They contacted police, who arrived at Fredette’s home on Nov. 13. at 11:40 a.m.
“Lise’s car was parked in the driveway and her glasses and house key were found on the ground near her vehicle,” Buehler said.
Police and forensic investigators cordoned off two houses on the corner of Bensfort Rd. and Maxwell Ave., with investigations primarily centred around her brick home at 2533 Bensfort Rd. They also conducted a search in the area and neighbours were canvassed.
“There was a substance found on the driveway, but we’re not prepared to speculate what it is,” Buehler said when asked if blood was found.
Police wouldn’t comment when asked about certain specifics on the investigation, such as whether any weapons had been found, or whether police had been involved in Fredette’s life in the past. They did say there was only one scene under investigation at this time.
“We don’t know what happened to Lise Fredette at this point. We are certainly very concerned based on what we found in her driveway but we don’t have the answers,” said Buehler.
“It is our goal to locate Lise as soon as possible and time is of the essence,” she said, adding that the first 48 hours after a person goes missing are vital for their welfare and also in collecting evidence.
When asked if there could be a possible connection to missing person Lorraine Roach, Buehler said police would be “exploring connections to any outstanding cases to any outstanding offenders, to any other circumstances that match the ones that we have here.”
“We’re using all of the tools at our disposal to try and find her,” she said, mentioning that police have put a zone alert out, and have been in contact with Crime Stoppers and other police services.
Police are still asking for the public’s help in identifying a heavy set driver of the older blue Dodge caravan that was seen in Fredette’s neighbourhood around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
“We would certainly love to identify that individual and the vehicle and ascertain whether or not there is any connection.”
If you have any information call city police at 1-888-876-1122 ext. 555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
PETERBOROUGH -- Andy Watson has been charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance of Lise Fredette. Her family was notified of this information moments before reporters were updated on the investigation into her Nov. 12 disappearance.
Peterborough-Lakefield police held a press conference today (Nov. 22) to announce they have charged the 76-year-old around 11 a.m. this morning.
He is also charged with criminal harassment.
"On behalf of Chief Murray Rodd, myself and the members of our Police Service we offer our deepest condolences and sincerest sympathy to the family and friends of Lise Fredette,”," says Deputy Police Chief Tim Farquharson. "This is no day that any family should experience."
"We had our concerns from day one but as time has passed -- she's been missing for more than a week -- there are a number of steps we take in an investigation to see traces of activity. We came to a dead end and reality sets in."
Inspector Larry Charmley
Mr. Watson had been warned on Sept. 9 to stay away from Ms Fredette whom he had been dating.
Police believe he was waiting for her, attacked her in the driveway and took her to another location, says Det. Staff Sgt. Lynne Buehler. Her body has not been recovered, and she is believed to be somewhere with soft ground and long yellow grass.
Police are asking the public to look for areas like this, and keep an eye out for her purse and her lunchbag which have not been recovered.
“Over the last week and a half, we have come to know Lise’s family. Our primary goal from the outset was to find Lise and this continues to be the case,” says Det. Staff Sgt. Buehler adds. "We will continue to work to find her and we are asking for your help.”
Officers searched around the clock as soon as she was reported missing, Det. Buehler says. They learned that Ms Fredette has ended her relationship with Mr. Watson and that he continued to contact her.
"We found evidence that connected Andy Watson with LIse Fredette," she added, carefully choosing her words.
Police arrived at Mr. Watson's house on Nov. 12 when Ms Fredette was reported missing, but said little in regards to their investigation at his house on Payne Street, only confirming they were there investigating an acquaintance of Ms Fredette.
Inspector Larry Charmley said investigators believed Ms Fredette had died after days went by without her contacting her children.
"We had our concerns from day one," he says, "but as time has passed -- she's been missing for more than a week -- there are a number of steps we take in an investigation to see traces of activity. We came to a dead end and reality sets in."
Ms Fredette was reported missing Thursday. Police say her co-workers at Walmart called family after she failed to show up at work. Family went to check on Ms Fredette’s well-being but she wasn’t at her Bensfort Road home. Police found Ms Fredette’s glasses and car keys in the driveway and also collected evidence, which appeared to be blood, around a Toyota RAV4 parked in a driveway at 2533 Bensfort Rd.
A command post was set up at the scene and forensics officers searched the backyard of a home and canvassed nearby houses. On Friday, forensic officers continued to look for evidence at the home with a medal detector. An air and water search were also conducted, but no new evidence was found.
Mr. Watson’s neighbour says police have been at 746 Payne St. around the clock since Thursday. On Friday, she says they towed away his vehicle, and collected evidence from the backyard, including brown tarps. She says police were back on Saturday (Nov. 15), and removed evidence from the home, including two brown bags which police use to collect evidence. They left the house on Thursday night.