For a week a police investigation at the Hidden Valley Campground in New Brunswick was the biggest mystery and best kept secret in the province – making headlines across Canada’s Maritime provinces.
Now one of the men who found his campground and business at the center of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) search has broken his silence, according to the Saint John Telegraph-Journal.
The Mounties, David Weaver said, were looking for a body the campground that he and his father John own. After a week of searching, no body was found and the search was called off Friday (June 26).
The search decimated the Weavers’ business for a week.
The RCMP never divulged what it was searching for. David Weaver said the RCMP told him the tip came from a former resident of the area who is now incarcerated at Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario.
“This guy made an accusation out in Ontario, that he was here, he stayed here and he supposedly buried a body,” Weaver said. “I knew this guy who said this and he’s in Kingston Pen right now.
“He was just trying to be tough,” Weaver said about why the man would have given the police such information.
Last Monday, a dozen RCMP officers, including the forensic team from Fredericton, descended on the idyllic 630-acre campground that is a 35-minute drive from Saint John.
Sgt. Claude Tremblay of the RCMP wouldn’t confirm or deny Weaver’s assertions.
“We were told we were going to find something in a certain spot and we didn’t find anything, so it’s irrelevant what we were looking for at the time,” Tremblay said.
Those details, he said, will never be released.
Police cordoned off the campground and allowed in only two campers who were long-term residents.
“I won’t make up the money that I lost,” Weaver said. “I won’t get that back.”
Tremblay said the campground’s owners should contact the RCMP if they suffered financial losses during the search.
“That’s a case for him to make to the RCMP,” Tremblay said.
Beyond the lost business, the disruption took a even more dire toll on the family. John Weaver, David’s father, was admitted to the Saint John Regional Hospital Sunday night with high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate.
“I believe he’s OK,” his son said. “They’re just going to run a bunch of tests. He’s not overly well to begin with, but all this hoo-hah that’s been going on just sent him over the edge. Stressed him right out.”
The father and son were tight-lipped when speaking with the media while the search was going on. Police had said early on that the Weavers were not the target of the investigation.
“I can’t blame them for doing their job, but they could have given us some heads-up or warning,” Weaver said of the RCMP. “It’s not like they just thought about it that day.”
The father and son built the campground in 1995.
Hidden Valley, which has 56 sites and cabins, lost a number of bookings after police shut down the campground. Weaver said campers began to trickle through the gates after the RCMP left Friday, but much of the traffic consisted of busybodies.
“More onlookers than anything. Period,” Weaver said.