When Chad Davis wound up briefly in jail in the fall of 2007, his father says he gathered his son's things from the apartment he then lived in and put them in a storage unit in Winnipeg, one rented with a credit card in the dad's own name: Stuart Davis.
Then — just three weeks before Chad mysteriously vanished on Feb. 6, 2008 — Stuart says his son was moving, and presumed his belongings which he saw packed into a moving van were bound for the same storage unit, as Chad had given him a key that day to open it with.
But three weeks after Chad suddenly disappeared, Corey Tymchyshyn told Stuart during a phone call that Chad had no such locker at the storage facility.
"He was claiming it was his locker, not Chad's," Stuart on Friday told jurors hearing the first-degree murder trial of Tymchyshyn and Kristopher Brincheski.
"He said Chad did not have a locker at (the facility)," Stuart said under questioning by Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson.
Tymchyshyn, 37, and Brincheski, 31, are accused of brutally killing Chad, 22, on the date he disappeared inside a garage on Prince Rupert Avenue and using a barrel to dispose of his body in the Winnipeg River. He wasn't found until more than five months after he vanished.
The killing, it's alleged, was committed over a drug debt Tymchyshyn owed to Chad, who dealt drugs.
Tymchyshyn said in a March 1 phone call he kept the locker at Dino's Storage on Orange Street to keep his "stuff," his "coke," in, said Stuart.
Two weeks earlier, however, Stuart said he'd given the Winnipeg Police Service the key to the locker his son had given him — one an organized crime detective says he checked out the next day as part of their missing persons investigation.
Det. Sgt. William Degroot went to Dino's to see if anything in the locker, like missing items, could give police any idea if Chad had simply picked up and left the city without telling anyone.
After talking with the manager of the facility, Degroot said he learned Chad did have a locker there, but it was under Tymchyshyn's name.
He testified he used the key Chad's dad gave him to get inside it but found nothing of significance, "just furniture and household items."
The Crown has alleged weeks after Chad was killed, Tymchyshyn and Brincheski emptied the storage locker of all of Chad’s belongings and the items were found in Brincheski's possession.
Stuart identified in court several items RCMP seized in their homicide investigation, including television sets, a DVD player and a remote control he gave to his son which he'd himself programmed.
Under cross-examination, Stuart admitted he didn't know much about his son's lifestyle and didn't press him for information about it.
He agreed with defence lawyer Roberta Campbell he had no knowledge that Dino's locker had actually been Tymchyshyn's since Dec. 31, 2007.