An Orillia man has been charged with the murder of 29-year-old Samantha Collins, whose body was discovered near a Bracebridge cottage last July.
Ian Charles Borbely, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder and indignity to human remains.
Bracebridge OPP Const. Jim Reading said the accused was arrested during a vehicle stop Tuesday morning. He said the location of the arrest would not be released because that information is crucial to the ongoing investigation.
The charges come following a nine-month investigation led by the Ontario Provincial Police criminal investigations branch and the Muskoka crime unit.
Bracebridge OPP officers responded to a Merrick Drive address on July 5 after a property caretaker found human remains, later determined to be those of Collins.
Residents of townhouses at 800 West Ridge Blvd. recalled seeing numerous police vehicles at Borbely’s residence, Unit 128, throughout the day Tuesday.
“Any kind of cop vehicle they have, it was here,” said one neighbour, who was “really shocked” to learn of the arrest and alleged crimes. “He just seemed like a really nice guy.”
She said she had just spoken with Borbely on the weekend.
She described him as a “great neighbour,” adding, “You’re innocent until you’re proven guilty.”
“I wish the family the best,” she said, noting Borbely lived in the townhouse with a woman and two young boys.
Another neighbour, who said she had never met the residents of Unit 128, said the situation was “a little scary.”
“It’s a quiet neighbourhood. You don’t expect anything like that to happen.”
A woman who lives a few doors down was “dumbfounded” after hearing about the arrest, saying “everyone kind of keeps to themselves” in that area.
“I’m just kind of shocked, and scared, actually,” she said. “It just creeps me out and it makes me feel sick.”
Det.-Insp. Paul McCrickard, the lead investigator in the Collins case, said,
“The owners of the cottage where the remains of Samantha Collins were found were in no way involved in her death and they have been very co-operative and understanding while the investigation was carried out.”
A cause of death has not been released, because Reading said that information is “sensitive” to the investigation.
It’s unclear how long Collins had been dead before her body was located. A time of death has been determined, Reading said, but that information is being withheld.
OPP Const. Peter Leon said Collins was “last known to be seen in or around spring 2007.”
Collins moved from Toronto to Bracebridge eight years ago. Her family has told QMI Agency that the young woman suffered from epilepsy and moved to cottage country shortly before giving birth to her second son.
Borbely is scheduled to appear in Bracebridge court on Wednesday.