Husband confesses murder to undercover officers

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    Dr. Christine P. Oriel

    Husband confesses murder to undercover officers

    By Darlene Casten

    A decade after a Filipina mother was murdered, her husband has confessed to the

    crime.

    Duane Redelback admitted to undercover police he strangled and suffocated his

    common law wife Ruth Degayo while their disabled two-year- old son was in his

    room on January 7, 2006.

    Redelback was charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser

    charge manslaughter on February. 23.

    Degayo’s sister, Riza Fornier, came from Florida for his sentencing.

    She recalled her sister as a brave and hard-working woman who first went to work

    in Singapore and then in Canada to support her family in the Philippines.

    “I have a lot of special memories of my sister, Ruth, but the most that I will always

    cherish in my heart is she taught me how to be brave,” Fornier wrote in her victim

    impact statement.

    “As a child, I'm always afraid of the dark. Ruth told me that whenever I am afraid or

    scared all I have to do is pray. When we were young almost every night before we go

    to sleep, she taught me to pray the Our Father in our own dialect. She helped me

    build my strength, my courage my values, my beliefs and my faith.”

    Fornier thanked the police and Crown Prosecutor for their work to convict

    Redelback, who she said she always knew was her sister’s killer.

    “But life haven't (sic) been easy for Ruth living with Duane, but she tried her best to

    survive for her beloved son,” Fornier wrote. “She would often go to church crying,

    praying and seek advise from the priest. There were times that Ruth had to bring

    Justin and would run to the next-door neighbor for help. They even went to the

    shelter house one time, just keeping her son and herself safe from Duane.”

    In the spring of 2015 undercover officers enacted a sting operation where they

    befriended and then created a fake job for Redelback. In August 2015, Redelback

    told the undercover officers he killed Degayo after an argument over what they

    would do that evening.

    Degayo wanted to go to the mall, but Redelback wanted to go out for drinks at

    Boston Pizza with a friend.

    He told the officers he took their then two-year- old child from Degayo and put him

    in his room. They continued to argue and Redelback put her in a chokehold until she

    lost consciousness. She was still breathing so he suffocated her with his hand.

    Redelback told the undercover officers he tied up her body and put it in suitcase.

    He then went to have drinks with his friend. When he returned to their Airdrie

    home, he took the suitcase to an abandoned building near Exshaw and doused it

    with gas and set it on fire.

    The next day he called RCMP and reported Degayo missing.

    RCMP had Redelback under surveillance and created a Crime Stoppers re-enactment

    of the crime.

    However an arrest did not occur until September 2015 after Redelback’s confession

    to the undercover officers.

    Crown prosecutor Jim Saw and defence lawyer entered a joint submission for a 15-

    year sentence, which was accepted by the judge.

    He will not be eligible for parole for just over six years.