News / Calgary

Jessica Newman's once common-law partner charged with second-degree murder

Family members of murder victim Jessica Rae Newman say they’re pleased the Calgary Police Service have laid second-degree murder charges against the victim’s former common-law partner, 30-year-old Kevin Rubletz.

24-year-old Newman, whose body was discovered in a ditch in the area of Range Road 285 and Township Road 264 on May 4, has been missing since March 10, a day before a hearing between Newman and Rubletz concerning the custody of their young son.

Newman’s mother, Rhonda Stewart, said numerous friends and family members have been waiting for answers around the death and said the charges come as welcome news.

“I am happy that there have been charges laid and now we have to wait for the courts to do their take on things,” she said. “I’m disappointed that it ended up being Kevin, because Jessica knew him so well, and they do share a child together.”

Police said Newman and Rubletz had been common-law partners for roughly three years until they separated in August of 2014 explaining the relationship between the two was “amicable” following the split.

Stewart herself said she never thought any harm would come as a result of the separation and the following custody dispute, she felt they were being “pretty reasonable for the most part.”

“Obviously, I’m so far away that I must have missed something that was going on, because I never thought in a million years that he was violent like this,” she said, noting those who rallied behind the family after Jessica had gone missing are also pleased with the news.

“That is going to be hard for everyone in our family for a very, very long time, but I am happy that we don’t have to wonder who it is anymore,” she said.

Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus, with the Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit said they believe Jessica was allegedly killed with a weapon in Calgary on the night of her disappearance after Rubletz picked her up from work in the Forest Lawn neighbourhood.

However, no weapon has been recovered.

He told reporters charges were laid as a result of witness testimony and forensic evidence collected as part of a complex investigation by Calgary police, including a forensic examination on a vehicle Rubletz had access to and drove regularly.

“We have a number of theories as to why she was killed, but it would only be speculative at this point to talk about motives,” he said Saturday.

He said the death has impacted a great deal of people within Calgary and across Canada, as some of Newman’s family live in B.C., noting he was pleased the investigation has been successful thus far.

“A lot of people are affected by this,” he said. “Friends, family, a mother and the child. Anytime that we can get a successful result through one of our investigations, yes, it is very satisfying.”

Andrus said Rubletz was co-operative with the investigation, though officers say he wasn’t “completely forthcoming,” but said he was arrested at a residence in southwest Calgary without incident.

The 30-year-old accused was the primary caregiver for the child at the time, and police say the youngster is now being cared for in a safe location.

Rubletz is scheduled to appear in court on Monday June 29.

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