The mother of Makayla Chang, a teenager murdered years ago, appeared in a Nanaimo courtroom with family and friends Monday to hear evidence against her daughter’s alleged killer.
Chang went missing in Nanaimo back in March of 2017. Her body was found two months later.
Steven Bacon, 61, who was named a person of interest in Chang’s disappearance at the time, was eventually charged with her murder.
On Monday, Bacon appeared at the Nanaimo Courthouse for the first day of a pre-trial preliminary hearing that was anticipated to last until Friday.
But in a surprise move Monday afternoon, 61-year-old Bacon decided to forego the remainder of the evidence and proceed directly to trial.
It was a day Chang’s family and friends have waited years for but just an hour into the preliminary inquiry, Chang’s mom, Jan, left the courtroom in a hurry and didn’t return.
“It was super upsetting to hear what we have today because none of us have heard any of this before. So it was probably a lot for Jan,” said Cyndi Hall, a friend of the victim’s family and advocate for missing women.
Media was not allowed in the courtroom Monday due to COVID-19 protocols and a publication ban related to evidence and witness testimony at the preliminary inquiry is also in place.
There were also two other notable individuals absent from the preliminary hearing — Chang’s father Kerry, who is currently in a Victoria hospital battling COVID-19, and Chang’s grandmother, Dolly, who died from cancer a few months ago. Dolly had been the 16-year-old’s guardian when she vanished in March 2017.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Kelly Boroski, who is Chang’s great aunt and Dolly’s sister.
Boroski attended the preliminary inquiry in Dolly’s place and carried an urn with her ashes into the courtroom
“She wanted closure. So we’re here for closure,” said Boroski.
A date for his first-degree murder trial is scheduled to be set on Nov. 15.