The best friend of a murdered Dartmouth woman says she has long had suspicions about Christina Cline’s ex-partner in advance of murder charges being laid.
Dustin Brian Hales, 37, and his current wife Victoria Ann Weir-Hales, 26, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Cline, 27. Her body was discovered by a man walking on a remote trail in Dartmouth’s Shubie Park on Nov. 19, 2011.
“I suspected him all along,” friend Jana Peterson told the Rick Howe Show Monday. “I was privy to information that I wasn’t aware the police had found or knew of yet. I had mentioned it to them, but until it could be confirmed, I tried to keep my mouth shut as best as possible.”
Peterson was babysitting Cline’s three children at the time of her friend’s disappearance. She said when Hales called to collect the children she legally had to let him take them under the custody agreement.
“Then to find out afterwards, after I had turned them over, that Christina was dead and I had told the kids ‘you know, everything is going to be fine, just go with your dad. It will only be an hour or two.’ And then they were stuck with him for weeks,” she said.
The children are now in foster care and Peterson said she does not think they have been told that their father and his new wife are charged in the death of their mother.
Hales is a Leading Seaman at Canadian Forces Base Halifax and a weapons technician.
Hales and Weir appeared in provincial court Monday and both were remanded into custody until Dec. 19.
An RCMP underwater dive team spent much of yesterday searching Lake Banook in Dartmouth while the two were in court.
“I can’t really comment on what was found,” Const. Pierre Bourdages told the talk show. “However, they dove all day and recovered several items and hopefully will connect them with this investigation.”
Last December, police divers searched nearby Lake Micmac in suburban Dartmouth for clues in the killing.
Bourdages said the two accused were first arrested in December 2011 in connection with the case, but they were released without charges.