RCMP Have Arrested a Man for Murder of Two Métis Hunters

Anthony Michael Bilodeau has been arrested and charged with second degree murder for the deaths of two men out hunting for food after one had been laid off because of the COVID-19 downturn.
The RCMP have charged a man with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting deaths of two Indi Métis enous hunters in Alberta this weekend.
Photo via Facebook.

The RCMP have charged a man with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting deaths of two Métis hunters in Alberta this weekend.

Anthony Michael Bilodeau, 31, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, and according to the Edmonton Journal, was denied bail on Thursday morning.

On Saturday, the bodies of Jake Sansom, 39, and Morris Cardinal, 57, were found outside their truck on a rural road in northeastern Alberta. The two were out hunting for moose and had just come from a relative’s house.

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RCMP said on Wednesday that the deaths were a homicide, and the autopsies revealed the men died by gunshots. In a release, the RCMP say they believe the alleged homicide took place at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night when two vehicles stopped on a rural road together.

"A verbal then physical confrontation ensued with the occupants of the two vehicles," reads the release. "A third vehicle arrived on scene and several shots were fired by the accused which resulted in the death of the victims."

Police say that their investigation into the homicides led them to Bilodeau who turned himself in at the Bonnyville RCMP station.

According to family, Sansom had just been laid off from his job as a heavy-duty mechanic and had been out hunting to put some food on the table as he waited for Albertan subsidies to kick in. According to the CBC, on Friday the men had left a moose they had killed with a farm owned by one of Cardinal’s stepkids. They were planning on hunting for more the next day.

But Sansom and Cardinal never made it home. Their bodies were found on a rural road not far from where they cleaned the moose on Saturday.

Sansom, described as a “gentle giant” by the family, was a married father of three and a firefighter who taught Brazillian jiu-jitsu and gave motivational speeches. Cardinal was a long time tree-feller who was described as terrifically funny and “the life of the party, always.”

Family members say that police have told them the killings were random.

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"I just don't get why somebody could murder two people for no reason like that," Michael Sansom, Jake’s brother, told the CBC. "They didn't rob them. The cops said nothing was missing. They pulled up just to kill them, just because. I just don't understand that."

A GoFundMe campaign set up for Sansom’s wife Sarah and his kids has raised over $40,000 so far, while one for Cardinal’s family has raised just over $7,000.

The murders come less than a year after another random killing in Alberta set off a media firestorm and a nationwide manhunt for two young men connected to the deaths of three people.

This story has been updated to include additional details released by the RCMP.

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.