Saskatoon Police Service Podcast

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Kandice ‘Kae’ Singbeil was a 32-year-old mother living on the streets of Saskatoon, SK, Canada, when she vanished in 2015.

More than eight years later, this true-crime podcast takes you inside the world Kandice lived, speaks to those closest to her, and pulls back the curtain on the investigation. Join us on Deals, Debts, & Death, as we explore what it boils down to for current investigators: drug debts and being taught a lesson.

Listen to the podcast trailer for Deals, Debts, & Death. Hear a preview of the five-episode Saskatoon Police Service-created podcast.

Not many people know what Kandice’s final years were like, but Donna Gilchrist does. Both women struggled with addictions, experienced homelessness, were involved with violent partners, and during all this, found themselves pregnant. The only difference? Donna is alive to tell her story, and Kandice isn’t.

Donna is a busy mom of two, and the co-host of Hard Knox Talks, a substance use and mental health podcast.

Episode 1: “Life on the Streets”

The following podcast deals with mature themes. Listener discretion is advised.

Julie: Welcome to Deals, Debts, & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil, a Saskatoon Police Service-produced podcast. We’re looking for answers in the unexplained disappearance of Kandice Marie Singbeil from a downtown Saskatoon street nearly nine years ago. I’m Julie...

Kelsie: And I’m Kelsie.

Julie: And we’re your hosts. We work for the Saskatoon Police Service, as part of the strategic communications team that’s responsible for writing media releases, coordinating media interviews, social media content, event planning, website development, and so on. But ‘police officer’ is not in our job description. Rather, we compliment their efforts and work alongside them to keep the public informed and assist in their investigations.

Kelsie: Before we begin, we want to remind listeners that someone knows something about what happened to Kandice. If that’s you, please come forward to police, or if you want to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers.

Julie: In our first episode, we’re diving deep into the dangerous and deadly world of drugs that Kandice lived in before she vanished.

Kelsie: Nearly nine years ago, Kandice’s boyfriend walked into Saskatoon Police headquarters and reported her missing. Over the next few days, police investigators learned she hadn’t accessed her bank account, she wasn’t active on social media, she suffered from addictions, and she was nowhere to be seen. In addition to that, she was living on the streets and in an abusive relationship. All of these factors amounted to a growing concern that something terrible had happened.

Julie: Join us over the course of the next five episodes as we take you inside the world of violence, drugs, and addiction that ultimately led to Kandice vanishing.

Kelsie: I’m Kelsie and I’ll be your host for this episode. Deals, Debts, and Death begins now. So, settle in, and let’s get to work.


Kelsie: Kandice was 32-years-old when she vanished in May 2015 from a downtown Saskatoon street. For those that aren’t local, Saskatoon is a city of close to 300,000 people, situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Metis, in Saskatchewan, Canada. The city straddles the vibrant South Saskatchewan River valley, and is sometimes called the Paris of the Prairies for the many bridges - eight in fact - that connect the two sides of the city. The downtown core where Kandice was last seen is located along the west banks of the river, and is home to a variety of retail shops, businesses, restaurants, green spaces, and is a popular area for people to spend time throughout the year.

But just like any city, Saskatoon's downtown has its darker side, too. As you walk the streets, you don't have to look far to see evidence of social disorder issues that plague almost every other major city. People sitting on the sidewalk asking for a few bucks. Back alleys providing quiet nooks and crannies for users to consume their drugs, and of which there are plenty of garbage and recycling bins that are the main source of income for some. Businesses vestibules are a place of refuge to warm up in the winter, and the park benches double as beds in the summer. This is the world that Kandice spent her final years living in.

Kandice, along with her boyfriend at the time, had been couch surfing at a downtown apartment building called the Traveler’s Block. She and her boyfriend had been watching a movie one night when he fell asleep and she left to go ‘binning’. Binning is the practice of scouring dumpsters, and recycling and donation bins, for items that have some sort of value, generally, they can be sold or traded.

Kandice never returned from her binning excursion, and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since. 

Police have followed up on hundreds of tips over the last eight years, and the investigation continues to be active, but we still haven’t found Kandice – or who killed her. We’ll explain in a later episode what led us to investigate this as a homicide, but before we get there, we wanted to give you an understanding of how Kandice spent her final years.

Unfortunately, we can’t talk to Kandice herself, but we were able to speak to someone whose own lived experience mirrors Kandice’s remarkably.

Donna: So, my name is Donna Gilchrist, I am a resident born and raised in Saskatoon, busy mom of two and I am the co-host and moderator of ‘Hard Knox Talks’.

HKT is a podcast that Donna and her husband Dan host where they share their lived experiences and speak with others about substance use disorders and mental illness. Donna and Dan are both in recovery. For her part, Donna is five years into her recovery, and when we meet her for this interview, she doesn’t fit the stereotype of someone who was a heavy drug user and spent time living on the streets. She’s petite and well-dressed. Her curly, shoulder-length red hair is tied back in a ponytail, and she wears two necklaces – the word ‘MOM’ is fastened to a chain that sits slightly above a separate necklace adorned with the golden outline of a heart. After our discussion, it’s easy to see that these necklaces are indicative of her focus and priorities.

Not unlike Kandice, Donna grew up with loving and supportive parents and was involved in various activities and sports. Life was good; Donna even describes it as ‘privileged’.

Donna: We weren’t a wealthy family, but I was quite sheltered. I played a lot of athletics and I played the organ. The issues and challenges that we see in the inner... core of the city were quite abstract for me. I was very much outside of that. There wasn’t a lot of want, if I needed new sports shoes, I got them and that kind of a thing. I had a very blessed childhood.

Donna started to drink out of a desire for acceptance amongst her friends and peers. She speaks about alcohol’s ability to bring her out of her shell that resonates with a large number of people. By the age of 16, Donna had a full-fledged drinking problem – but it would take years for her to recognize it for the problem it had become.

Donna: There is a large component of social conditioning and then there was the wanting to fit in. I was always awkward, I was always shy and I often felt ostracized and then when I started to drink, whatever sort of reservations I had, and you hear this from many people, the inhibitions are gone and you become more social and you’re more fun and now there’s this way to connect with other people. Up until that point, I would connect with people on the court, like on a sports team, but outside of the game or practice, those people didn’t really want to hang out with me, until I started drinking, and then suddenly I was invited to the parties and all of the social things that as you’re growing up, you want to be a part of. And in some ways, we are socially conditioned into believing that that’s what the norm is. So, I strived for that, and then once I was on that path, it was full speed ahead.

She would later find a job she loved as a paralegal, which led to a brief period of being alcohol-free, but when she took a new job that made her miserable, her drinking habits returned and with them, a willingness to experiment with other substances. Then she met Dan. He checked all the boxes for her, and she wanted to check all the boxes for him, too. They would have a great time together, but it led to a three-year opioid addiction, and ultimately crystal meth.

Donna: When he asked me if I had ever tried meth, I laughed at him, I was like “No, what are you talking about?” And so, he was asking me all of these questions and I finally said to him, “Why are you asking me this stuff?  He said “Well… you know...” And I was like, “Why, do you know somebody who uses meth?” That’s when he admitted that he was a user, an active user, and then he asked me if I wanted to try it, and I said, “Well I don’t know, what is it like?” He said it’s a lot like cocaine high, it just lasts a lot longer. I guess I have a rubber arm, so I decided to give it a whirl, and that was it… It sealed the deal, it’s insanely addictive.

In the throes of their addictions, Dan and Donna welcomed a baby boy, but it wasn’t long before Dan lost his job and their house went into foreclosure. Donna wasn’t working either so they needed to find a way to support themselves, and their habits. That support came from gang members and other active meth users spending time at their house, mostly in the garage with Dan, while Donna was inside the house with their son. Donna shared her concerns with Dan about the people coming around. She knew, even then, that those people were dangerous; if they felt like you looked at them wrong, there could be serious consequences.

Donna: But you know, he was so deep in his addictions, he was not hearing any of my concerns and so the spiral continued and then one day the Ministry came knocking, and at that point our house looked like a house that you would expect to see where active usage is happening, so they apprehended our son.

Kelsie: What was that like?

Donna: Devastating. I mean, it’s devastating for anybody for that to happen, but in one of the legal positions I had had before, we worked with families trying to get their kids back from the Ministry, so in this sort of situation, knowledge was not power. ‘Cause I knew full well the uphill battle that we were facing and I completely imploded. I just became a complete shell of myself. I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t stop crying, I had a complete breakdown.”

Enter Mike. This isn’t his actual name, but for the sake of following this story that’s what we’re going to call him. Donna first introduced us to him as her ‘friend’ when we spoke – and I’m using air quotes when I say friend here.

Donna: My marriage had collapsed, our house was in foreclosure, our son had just been apprehended. I had no family, no friends, because of the circumstances I had been completely ostracized, so I had nothing. And one fellow that had been coming around, I had known many, many years ago, and he sort of became an ally. He presented like he was there for me, and that he understood and that he could help and he was very cunning. He worked on me, “I can help you, I know how to navigate the system, why don’t you come with me” and this sort of a thing. Like I said before, I was very naïve to life on the streets and what things are like in the core and what a lot of folks go through and the lifestyle that they grow up with. And I thought I could trust him.

But she found out pretty quickly that Mike’s promises were nothing but smoke and mirrors. By that point though, it was too late. Donna found herself living on the streets with Mike and it didn’t take her long to understand what her value was.

Donna: I think what my currency was, was me. I was his property to do with whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, however he wanted. If he was having a bad day, I was his punching bag. If he needed to unleash on somebody, I was there. In his mind, that was my way of earning keep. Otherwise we would bin, we would do a lot of dumpster diving.

While Donna may have been naïve to life on the streets, Mike was not, and in a twisted and ironic sense, she actually credits him for keeping her alive.

Donna: How do I say, he was very respected on the streets. He had a big reputation, he had been in the game for a long, long time. People didn’t mess with him. They knew he was serious and if he made threats, he was going to follow through, and so he gained that reputation. The ironic thing about it is, it offered me some protection, ‘cause nobody would mess with me, because they were scared of what he would do.

Kelsie: You were his property.

Donna: I was his property, yeah, yeah. It was a very challenging position to be in, ‘cause nobody was willing to help me either, even though they could see what was happening. You know, it was, “you’re on your own.”

Kandice also ran into her fair share of bad people, and even shared with her mom, Pauline, that she had a drug debt. For those that aren’t familiar with that world, when a buyer doesn’t have the cash to purchase drugs upfront, drug dealers will give it out on credit with the buyer promising to pay the agreed-upon amount at a later date. But as you can imagine, given the vicious cycle of addictions, sometimes those debts go unpaid and accumulate beyond an amount the buyer can repay. Dealers thrive on this system because they now have power over those indebted to them, and they generally use this power to teach others a lesson about what happens when you can’t pay your debt.   

Pauline: One time she said, “I’ve met some really bad people here. Some really bad people.” I said, “I can imagine.” Then there was one part near the end where she had said “I have a drug debt, but don’t worry about me, it’ll be alright, I’ll figure it out.” And a part of me was like, I need to help her, but her sisters were like, “No you can’t, ‘cause if you help her, she will just do it again, and the people that are responsible, don’t stop.” Never in my mind or in my thoughts had I ever, ever imagined that her life would be taken.


We asked Donna if she had ever incurred a drug debt. While she never did, she knew others that had and had some horrific stories about what happens to those who can’t pay up.

Donna: Other people that I came into contact with had been kidnapped, they had been trunked. And for anybody that doesn’t know what trunked is, it means people drive up and grab you and throw you in a trunk and take you out of town and beat you up, or sometimes hot shot. I knew people who got ‘hot-shotted’ over drug debts. If you don’t know what that is, that’s when you get injected with drugs that have been over-warmed or just hot water because it bubbles your veins, and obviously it can cause death. So, and people have been beaten up, and I knew someone who had been tied to a chair and his teeth removed.

Kelsie: So, there are certainly repercussions and serious ones.

Donna: Huge repercussions, serious repercussions and I think that sometimes people who are basically collecting or whatever, don’t necessarily realize how severe the outcomes can be. And of course, a lot of people are in active use themselves, so get high on meth and go do some work and things get out of hand, and unfortunately tragic things happen.

Drug debts and their repercussions aside, violence or harm could still come to you if you didn’t respect the rules of the street.

Donna: For people who find themselves in that lifestyle who haven’t been brought up in the lifestyle, there are a lot of things that you’re not aware of. There’s a lot of rules and unspoken things that you’re expected to know, so it is very easy to disrespect by accident. There is a lot of fast lessons learned when you are on the street. <laugh> A lot of hard lessons learned, so you always have to be very cautious and very mindful of who you’re with and what their position is, how much respect you should show and even sometimes saying that you are friends with somebody, can be misconstrued that you are saying you are ‘down’ and if you haven’t been initiated, that can have significant ramifications. There are all of these different layers, that for a person like myself, I had no idea. And that’s where I say having someone like that guy, probably saved my life, ironically. As much as, like, oftentimes he was trying to kill me, there were other situations where having him in my corner, if you will, saved my life and saved me from other horrible things that could have happened.

Things that investigators believe did happen to Kandice though. Here’s Inspector Tyson Lavallee speaking to my co-host, Julie. At the time Kandice disappeared, he was a Sergeant on the investigative team. You’ll hear from him again in episode four when we get into details about the investigation.

Tyson: You know, she had conflicts with people. She wasn’t liked by a lot of people.

Julie: Being in the drug world?

Tyson: Being in the drug world. She had dabbled in dealing, she had short changed people, she had ripped some people off. She was associated to high-level drug dealers and she was in a dangerous world. She was living in a dangerous world.

Julie: In which she had burned some bridges?

Tyson: In which she had burned some bridges.


Here we are talking to Donna, again.

Kelsie: You and Kandice, or your story and Kandice’s, are very paralleled in terms of you both faced homelessness, addictions, pregnancy, domestic violence; where your paths differ is in the exit. Did you ever worry about your own safety?

Donna: All the time, all the time. I had no idea if I was gonna be alive the next day, and not just because of the drugs that I was using, but because of the partner that I was with. He recognized and monopolized on the situation that I was in. It was not uncommon for him to say, “You’d better smarten up, because I could kill you, throw you in a garbage bin, and nobody would even know. You’re not in contact with your family, nobody knows where you are, and it would be weeks, if they ever found you.”

Kelsie: What did that sort of do to your mind set? That must have been awful.

Donna: It was terrifying. I lived in constant fear that my son would find out I died on the street, or my parents would get that call. And then that created other feelings of guilt. Sometimes what we talk about on the show, like does an addict know the damage that they’re doing to their family? And I think there is an element of knowing, and that actually fuels the addiction as well. They may not be cognizant of it, but I think it’s there. Because I know it certainly was for me. There were other situations where whatever was going on, he would get upset with me, and he would talk about taking me out to B.C. and putting me to work out there. And he even introduced me to people in town here who run girls out to B.C. So, he made it very abundantly clear that this was not just a threat, he could make it happen. So, I better stay in line, I better not talk shit about him, I better not talk to anybody, don’t trust anybody. Even sitting here recounting this, I am getting tense, and my hands are cold,

Kelsie: Clammy.

Donna: Yeah, it was very, very real.


From a middle-class upbringing to the drugs, violence, addictions, homelessness, and even pregnancy, it’s eerie how similar Donna’s story is to Kandice. The one stark difference though? Donna’s alive to share her story, and Kandice isn’t.

Join us for episode two where we speak to Kandice’s mom. We discuss what road Kandice travelled that took her from a little girl with big dreams of being her own boss, to addictions, to drug debts, to disappearing.

Pauline: Many people came to me at the beginning and said, “Oh are you sure she didn’t run away? Are you sure she didn’t, you know, run away?” And it was like “No way.” At first, I thought well maybe, but she would never not want to know or talk to her kids, or be in touch whatsoever.

Julie: Tell me about the last text that she sent to you.

Pauline: We were disagreeing about the Social Services, you need to go through them to come. And so she said, “Okay, I will make an arrangement to come on Tuesday and I will be there, come hell or high water.”

Julie: So, to you that said she wouldn’t run away.

Pauline: No, absolutely not.


That’s next time on Deals, Debts, & Death.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addictions and looking for help, please reach out. Resources are available in the show notes at

Kandice’s life was tragically cut short and her last few years were anything but easy, but that’s not what defines her. We spoke to Pauline, Kandice’s mom, about what led that brown-eyed baby girl to grow up wanting to be her own boss to emptying Tylenol bottle as a teenager to living on the streets of Saskatoon.

Episode 2: “Always Your Baby”

The following podcast deals with mature themes. Listener discretion is advised.

If you have any information that can help bring Kandice home, please come forward to police, or you can remain anonymous by reporting to Crime Stoppers.


Last time on Deals, Debts, & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil. You heard my co-host Kelsie speak with Donna Gilchrist, a woman in recovery whose experiences of living on the streets of Saskatoon parallel Kandice's own. We wanted you to get a sense of how Kandice spent her final years. We heard how a seemingly innocuous upbringing led to a life of addiction, violence, and fear.

In episode two, “Always Your Baby”, you'll hear from Pauline, Kandice's mom. Kandice isn't defined by her addictions or her lifestyle choices. She's also a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. It's important for everyone to know that no matter what a person might be facing, they still have a story that's worth knowing. And we're here to tell you Kandice's story.

I'm Julie, and I'll be your host for this episode. Deals, Debts, & Death continues now. So, settle in and let's get to work.


Kandice was born September 18th, 1982 to her mom, Pauline. Pauline worked hard at raising Kandice on her own and by all accounts, she had a pretty typical Saskatchewan childhood. She grew up in Swift Current – that’s about a three hour drive south of Saskatoon, population 16,000. Greg soon joined as the father figure and he and Pauline welcomed two more daughters, Brittany and Jenna.

Looking at their southern Saskatchewan home, nothing really stands out as strange or fancy or sad – it’s just typical. The front lawn and plants are freshly trimmed. In the back yard, you can see a net surrounding a trampoline and the neighbours all have similar-well maintained houses and yards. The quiet crescent has a sense of shelter and safety. The Singbeil home looks like many others on the Canadian prairies. Similar to Kandice's upbringing, as an outsider looking in, everything seemed (by all accounts) normal. 

So, what could possibly have happened to turn such a normal family's life into a whirlwind of chaos, addiction, abuse and ultimately, murder? Let's start at the beginning, back in 1982.

Pauline: From the very first picture, she looked gorgeous and pink. She just melted my heart with big brown eyes full of life. And I thought - I was a single mom - and so I thought, we are gonna go through life together, thick or thin.

That's the voice of Pauline Singbeil, Kandice's mom. As she shuffles through old family photos she brought, her shoulders slump forward on her petite figure. Her husband, Greg, sits quietly at her side for support. She sniffles and wipes away a few tears. Through Pauline’s sadness, she looks down at the happy memories with love, but her fatigue is evident; raising two young children isn’t easy, at the age when most people are enjoying retirement.

She clutches on to the worn baby photo of Kandice who was wearing a frilly, pink dress more than 40 years ago. She was smiling with bright, brown eyes. Pauline recalls this sweet, little girl having big dreams and high hopes for her future.

Pauline: I did a lot in the restaurant business with waitressing and such. She was busy playing in her room one day and I came in and she had a blanket on the floor, and what looked like a table setting. I said, “Oh! What are you doing?” And she says, “Oh I’m playing restaurant.” And I said, “Oh! Are you a waitress?” And she turned around and said, “No! I’m the owner.” So, from that point on, I knew that she had high expectations of herself and she wanted to be successful. So that made me feel so good.

Julie: How old was she at the time?

Pauline: She was about three and a half. She was very little, but she really understood.

Julie: What did you love the most about Kandice?

Pauline: I was so jealous of her being able to sing. I have always wanted to sing, I have to sing in the shower. She could bolt out songs like you couldn’t imagine. I just... she had a very good voice.

Julie: Was she in choir or anything like that?

Pauline: She did a little bit in elementary and stuff, and we did do singing lessons, but it just kind of fell to the wayside. She did a lot of singing with her friends and stuff.

Julie: I bet that was hard after she went missing, that you couldn’t hear that singing voice again.

Pauline: Yes, very hard.  Yeah, it’s just hard to explain her voice and that is one thing that Kaestin does not have the same. She loves to sing, but doesn’t have that same octave singing.

Julie: Just looking at your face right now, it’s like you can hear it still

Pauline: I was always just amazed. Where did she get that from? <laugh>

Kandice was a strong-willed individual with a unique sense of style from a young age. Pauline spoke about her homemade clothes, including her wide-legged pants that she would create when she couldn’t find a style that suited her. She did her own dreadlocks in her hair and had piercings in her lower lip and nose. When she went missing, Kandice wore glasses and bleach blond hair with pink accents. Pauline says Kandice beat to her own drum and no matter what persona she was after, her personality always shone through.

Pauline: She was just her own. She did things the way she wanted, and I had to learn to let it go. People kept saying “Oh, it’s just her hair or it’s just her clothes.” She was almost like a sixties girl, growing up in the eighties. I was a seventies girl, so you have to learn to go with those things. As a teenager she struggled with friends, with girls, and the way that girls go, different friends but along the way she had a lot, and a lot of them to this day approach me and say, “I remember Kandice, we did this, you know we did that. I remember her in high school or elementary. To this day, they always approach me and say, “Hi, I miss Kandice, I remember so much about her.”

Julie: Is there something in particular you really miss? If Kandice were here, what would the first thing you would want to do with her?

Pauline: Oh, I would hug her. No matter in times... it was difficult. We had some pretty big struggles in the end, but she still always looked to me for help. And when I wanted to give her some, at times, she didn’t want it, but she still, still, I don’t know, looked at me for help, or looked for me for help or called me out for help.

Julie: She still wanted that motherly advice.

Pauline: Exactly. Always, always your baby.

Kandice had her first baby, Nethan, in 2006. Eight years later, she welcomed her little girl, Kaestin into the world. Kaestin made her arrival at a time in Kandice's life when she was struggling with homelessness, addiction and an abusive boyfriend. Both of her kids quickly ended up in the care of Kandice's parents, but that didn't stop them from briefly knowing their mom’s love.

Julie: If you could talk to Kandice today, what do you think she would say about Kaestin and Nethan today?

Pauline: She would be so proud of Nethan. He’s a scholar in every way. He is not her personality, he is an introvert, very quiet and soft spoken. He cuts to the chase, like no overtelling a story; total opposite of her, but she would be so proud because he is in Grade 12 and his marks are phenomenal. Like, he has nothing less than 97[%] or 98[%] and he strives for 100 and is disappointed when he doesn’t get it. (We are working on that) <laugh> She would be so proud of him and be like, “Where did he get that from?” <laugh>

Pauline: Kaestin is 8-years-old, in Grade 3, and she is definitely a spitfire. She loves singing and choir, just like her mom. Her giggles so remind me of her mom. I was going through pictures again this week, preparing for this podcast, and so many flashbacks of Kandice, her friends posing in front of the Christmas tree, or sitting with her sisters. It’s just not fair at all for Kaestin, but she doesn’t know any different. The hard part for her, is when we’re driving, and we drive by a cemetery, and she looks at that and she goes, “I wish we could go visit my mom in one of those.” I, sometimes I just about have to stop the car, because for being so young, and what she understands and she just wishes she, I guess, had a place to go visit. I say, “well, we always have our tree to go to,” and she says, “I don’t think it’s the same.”

Julie: It’s kind of amazing how kids handle grief, hey?

Pauline: Yeah, and when we say, “We’re coming to Saskatoon to work with the Police,” she says, “Oh! To find my mom?” And I said, “Yeah, we’re working really hard, they’re doing so much to try to help.” For an 8-year-old to try to fathom that, it just doesn’t make sense. But, she doesn’t know any different.

Julie: Is it harder or easier for you that Kaestin is a spitting image of Kandice?

Pauline: Well, I love the reminders. I don’t want the repetitive of Kandice’s life. It won’t happen, it won’t happen, but I’m given another chance to spend my time with Kandice as a little girl, so I have to appreciate that.


Nethan and Kaestin honour their mom every year at Christmas by hanging a new angel ornament on the tree. Pauline brought a few of the delicate glass and crystal ornaments with her on the day of this interview. She looks at the angelic figures lovingly as she untangles their strings.

Pauline: The idea just came up kind of, I don’t know, the couple days before Christmas ‘cause the first Christmas was approaching, and Kandice wasn’t gonna be around, and it was really going to feel empty. So, the way I would explain it to Nethan was that his mom was probably an angel in Heaven. Then, I was out shopping for Christmas and had seen some angels, and they were beautiful ornaments, so I decided I would pick up two and we would put an angel on the tree for Mom. So, they each had an angel and they hung it on the tree. Kaestin needed help for the first couple years because she was pretty little. And so, now that has become our tradition to hang an angel, and it’s a different one every year. So, they’re getting quite a collection of angels. <laugh>

Julie: I was going to say, some people have an Angel on the top of their tree, you probably have them all over your tree.

Pauline: All over the tree, you have to start a little tree just for the angels. We’ve got, I guess it would be, eight years of angels.

Julie: Has time changed your grief or hope? And what helps you cope?

Pauline: Definitely some days are easier than others, weeks and months. It’s just really hard to...

Julie: Take your time.

Pauline: It seems like every time I try to go forward, like this is the way life is, this is our journey… Something keeps coming back to remind us. And it’s not a bad thing, ‘cause you feel guilty if you, not stop remembering, but if you feel like you can’t grieve any more, it’s hard. I think the biggest thing is that we love her, and miss her and we wish that she was a part of so many of our memories. We’ve had weddings, we’ve had new babies in the family, anniversaries and she’s just not here, right? And it’s such a sadness for her story, and she just deserved so much better, and her children, too.

Julie: So, even though your grief might change a little bit, that void is always still there.

Pauline: That void is always there, yeah. We do family pictures, we try to make sure that everybody’s there, but there’s always an empty spot.

As many middle schoolers do, Kandice had some turbulent friendships in her early years, but it wasn't until high school, her mom says, that she started to spiral. Pauline knew Kandice had smoked cannabis but didn't think too much of it. Then she noticed the Tylenol bottle would always be empty... It wasn't long after that that she was addicted to various types of illicit drugs, including crystal meth.

Kandice found herself in Pine Grove Correctional Centre, a women’s prison in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 2010. She served roughly eight months there before moving to Saskatoon in hopes of better addictions resources and supports, a job and a fresh start on life. She spent some time at Saskatoon’s Calder Centre seeking treatment and her son, Nethan, even moved back in with his mom. Sadly, that only lasted a couple of months. The addiction was just too strong. In 2014, Kandice ended up back in Pine Grove on drug charges.

This next clip includes my co-host, Kelsie hearing from Donna who we spoke to in the last episode. Having lived such a similar life, you can hear and see the empathy and hurt for Kandice on Donna’s face as she responds.

Kelsie: What do you think Kandice would want her kids to know, or what would you want Kandice’ kids to know?

Donna: Hmm, that’s a good question. <laugh>, I think given the fact that she had, you know, gone to treatment, I think she was trying. And I think that something that people have a hard time understanding is just how hard it is. No matter how badly you want it, sometimes that devil is just so big. There is probably a significant amount of guilt driving if she had relapsed or whatever, that it wasn’t that she didn’t care or didn’t love, it was something that was beyond her control. You know, I mean, it’s listed in the DSM now, it’s a medical condition just like AIDS or cancer or whatever. It’s something that is not easy for an individual to live with, but oftentimes we’re treated like, “We should just get over it, or you know, one time in treatment and you should be cured.” That’s very rarely the case.

Pauline: Yeah, she was wanting to be better, wanting to have a place of her own and wanted her son to come and move in with her and to start her life here brand new. I could see the hope that was in her eyes, like, “I want to get better.” Not realizing how difficult that might be at what she had gone through.

Julie: And you were hopeful as well.

Pauline: Oh, absolutely, you never want to give up hope. That might have been a little bit of denial again, but not realizing the extent of the drugs and how they can psychologically change a person. She was very good at being able to hide that, but I could see that she really… who wants to be not with their children, or not want to be better? Right? She really, really wanted it.


Pauline: We have a video-taping that Kandice had taken and I cannot find it. One of the last times that she had come to visit and they were playing floor hockey, or not floor hockey, sorry, they were playing air hockey and having a lot of fun and laughing. We have a few videos on Facebook when they do those Snapchat pictures and she loved doing that. Just sitting with and chilling with him and doing those crazy things on the phone. So, we have a few of those that are really good to be able to look back and show him [Nethan] and good reminders for him.

We had asked investigators if there were any recordings that existed in the file that included Kandice’s voice, for background context. Coincidentally, that lost video of the air hockey match is exactly what they provided us with.

<audio from home video>

Kandice: What period is it?

Nethan: The third!

Kandice: Who’s got eight goals?

Nethan: MEE!

Kandice: How many do you need to win?

Nethan: One-one.

Kandice: So I’m probably going to lose this hockey game?

Nethan: Yeahh, yeahh!

Kandice: Are you ready?

Nethan: Nope, no. Yeah, yeah!

Kandice: Alright, here we go.

Nethan: YUP! YUP! YUP! YUP! YUP!

Kandice: You’re throwing me off yelling around!

Nethan: Yeah, ha-ha-ha, ah-ha-ha yeah! Oh, ho hooo hooo hooo.

Kandice: Ooooooooooh!

Nethan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m going to win my first game!

Kandice: I don’t know about that, don’t talk till you do!

Nethan: Ha-ha-ha oh yeah!

Kandice: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

Nethan: I’m 0-4 on this game.

Kandice: What! You’ve lost FOUR games already? This was your Christmas present, you have to win!

Nethan: Yeah!

Kandice: Whoa! That was close! Almost scored on myself and gave you a point!

Nethan: To make me 1-4 to make you 0-1!

<Kandice scores a goal>

Kandice: Nah-na-nah-na, nah-na-nah-na, hey, hey, hey…

Nethan: I won won wonnn.


Julie: When did you see the switch where things took a downward turn for Kandice in Saskatoon?

Pauline: It was before Kaestin was born. She had different phone calls, different numbers on her call, in a hurry, very scattered… I mean, the term that my daughters and I want to say was almost ‘schizoaffective’. They seem to understand a lot of the terminology that goes with that, ‘cause when she would come to visit, we didn’t know who was coming through the door. We didn’t know what personality was coming through the door, it got to be scary. ‘Cause the drugs were affecting your mental health and the self-medicating, and the addiction and the part of not on the drugs or needing the drugs, or what the drugs are doing… Very scary. And then, when she told me she was pregnant, I cried. For eight months. Yeah. We had met him a couple of times. He seemed very level-headed when she had the baby, and her emotions were up and down and stuff. He seemed to be the one reasoning, but then she would tell her Grandma, Greg’s mom, that, “He beat me up, he beats me up and I went into the hospital early ‘cause he beat me up.” She never told me that, and I don’t know why she didn’t, maybe ‘cause she knew I would lose so much disrespect for him. When I did ask him: “Did you hurt Kandice and that’s why the baby was born?” He admitted to it. She was born two months premature. So, she was in the NICU for a month and we would come visit, but we often didn’t let her know we were here, because she was very scared... scared that she would lose the baby, scared that we might intervene. And so then, when the baby was ready to be released at one month old out of the NICU, we got a call from Social Services that we needed to come pick-up the baby. Kandice was not happy. And I don’t blame her. She was really mad at me. I said, “Kandice, honey, we didn’t step in, they called us. They ‘red flagged’ you for some reason. Being in the state of mind with being involved in drugs, it was very, very difficult. So, then she begged - we were ready to leave in the car, and she was begging with her worker, “Please let me have my baby for a month. I promise I’ll do the program.” So, there is a program here called ‘Baby Steps,’ where mom can go with baby, they are monitored to make sure that they are clean and trying to get the help that they can.

This video of Kandice talking to her new daughter was taken while she was in the program. In it, we see a small newborn baby wearing a cozy onesie covered in stars. Baby Kaestin lies on a green blanket in soft, yellow light. Kandice gushes over her as she shakes a rattle toy above, and softy strokes Kaestin’s little cheek with one finger. Today, it remains a treasure to the Singbeil family.

<home video playing>

Kandice: Hello baby. Hello baby. Who are you thinking about? Hi Nethan! Are you thinking about your brother?

<Baby Kaestin cooing>

Kandice: Hey, should we go see your grandma and papa, and your brother? Do you wanna  go see your brother? Yes, I love my brother. I love Nethan. Oh! Do you love him? I love you. <laugh>. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear. One step, two step, tickle under there. Are you tired? Okay, let's cuddle. I'm going to bed now. I love you. <kissing sound>

These precious moments between Kandice and Kaestin were rare and tragically cut short. Kandice spent only three weeks in the program before her addiction came creeping back in.

Pauline: Then she would call me and was upset because, “They said I was dirty and it was from the first time and not the second time, it was still in my system.” Excuses, right? She goes, “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t stay here.” So, I said, “Send baby here, we’ll watch her, we’ll take care of her, you do what you need to do.” So, then that happened and she was very upset when we came in the second month to come get baby. Deep down, she knew it was the best, but those feelings are very hard, and I could understand so, we brought baby home. Very difficult when you’re in your late fifties to start with a brand-new baby and getting up in the night and doing feedings. Nethan just loved his little sister. He got his wish ‘cause he always said, “I want a little brother or a little sister.” So, he was over the moon in love with her. This was April 17th, so in that time Kandice came down twice to visit. Once with babies’ dad, and once on her own. Those were hard, but I mean, it was still the, “I want the baby, I need help.” You could still see that she was struggling. I was so guilty of enabling and I really had to hold my ground and not do that. So, then she left, then talking on the phone, the plan to come back to visit was supposed to be May 17th, in that area. And she had missed her meeting with her Social Service worker and they were supposed to help provide her come on the bus, ‘cause the bus system was how she got back and forth. She missed her meeting and was upset and wanted to come anyway. I said, “I’m sorry honey, I can’t break the rules. We’re working here with Social Services and we need to follow... You need to go to your worker on Monday, make the arrangements, and come on Tuesday or whenever it works; we’ll be here.” This was Friday, she had made a meeting appointment to go on Monday morning with her Social Service worker, and then we hadn’t heard by Tuesday and – I’m trying to think if it was Tuesday or Wednesday – Kandice’s boyfriend called and said, “Hey have you heard from Kae?” And I said, ‘No.’ He said, “We seldom go more than 24 hours without seeing each-other”, even though their relationship was toxic. It had a lot of downs more than ups. I said, “Well you need to get your butt down to the Police Station and report her missing, ‘cause we haven’t seen her. I haven’t... you’re the one who’s seen her, you’re responsible.” So, he did come down and report her missing. Now whether it was guilt that brought him, I have no idea. But anyway, he came down and reported her missing and then that’s when life took a turn."

Coming up in episode three… we hear from the investigators who were first on the case when Kandice was reported missing. But it quickly turned from a missing person file…into a homicide investigation. Proving that one person killed another is a challenge in itself for Police… but trying to find answers in a world consumed by addictions and mental health issues presents a whole new level of investigation.

Erin Coates: That meth world is so big and small all at the same time, where they kind of all know each other or they've all somewhat crossed paths with each other or just the drug world alone as far as rumours and suspicion and people dealing with mental health and people on substance abuse. Lots of times in the drug world, people will try to scare each other and take things too far.


That's next time on Deals, Debts, & Death.

Kandice is missing, and the red flags keep coming. Investigators learn Kandice had a drug debt and didn’t respect those on the street. The missing persons investigation quickly becomes a file lead by homicide detectives.

Episode 3: “Red Flags”

The following podcast deals with mature themes. Listener discretion is advised.

If you have any information that can help bring Kandice home, please come forward to police, or you can remain anonymous by reporting to Crime Stoppers.


Last time on Deals, Debts, & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil, you heard my co-host Julie talk to Kandice’s mom, Pauline. You learned more about where Kandice’s story started, and how a healthy, loved, and independently-minded little girl, ultimately went down a path of self-destruction.

Episode three, “Red Flags”, continues Kandice’s story from the time she was reported missing. As a police service, we publicly identified the Major Crime Section as taking over the investigation after just four weeks – something not necessarily considered ‘standard’ for a missing persons investigation. In this episode, we speak to two of the early lead investigators of the file about what stood out to move this from a missing person to a major crime investigation so early on.

Before we get started, I want to re-introduce Kandice. Out of respect for her family, we’ve called her by her given name but as investigators spoke to people and dug into this case, they quickly learned that wasn’t part of her identity at the time she disappeared. Those that knew her in Saskatoon... in her lifestyle... in that community... they knew her by a different name: ‘Kae’ – spelt K-A-E. So, as we move into the next chapter of her story, you’ll hear us and the investigators we’ve spoken to, interchangeably refer to her as both.

I’m Kelsie, and I’ll be your host for this episode. Deals, Debts, & Death continues now. So, settle in, and let’s get to work.


When Kae was reported missing on May 25, 2015, she and her boyfriend had been crashing at an apartment in a building called the Traveller’s Block. In the next episode, we’ll take you inside that 110-year-old building where Kae spent her final night and what was considered ground zero for the search radius.

Kae’s boyfriend told police they had recently relapsed from a brief period of sobriety and had been partying that day. They passed out together on the couch around midnight, and when he woke up, she was gone. This wasn’t unusual, though. Kae would often get up in the middle of the night to go ‘binning’ to find things she could trade for cash or drugs. What was unusual though, was that she didn’t return and her social media was dark. In addition to her addiction to drugs, one might also say she was addicted to Facebook; she rarely went more than a couple of hours without posting something. I’ll pause here to urge you to remember this detail. We’ll come back to it later on, and it’ll be a big focus for another investigational tactic – one dubbed ‘Project Searchlight’ – that we discuss in the next episode.


Kae’s boyfriend would spend the next two days looking for her on his own, but it was finally at Pauline’s urging, that he would file a report with Police.

Kevin: I'm Kevin Montgomery. I worked with the Saskatoon Police Service for just over 30 years. In those 30 years I worked in patrol. I worked in organized crime, I worked in the drug section, also worked in domestic violence. I went to major crime. From there I went to missing person, worked in the intel unit. And then when I retired I was the acting Staff Sergeant in charge of the street crimes unit. So, worked several different areas of the, of the service.

Kelsie: Lots of experience.

Kevin: Yeah, lots of, lots of experience seen a lot of different things for sure.

That’s retired Detective Sergeant Kevin Montgomery. He spent more than 20 of his 30-year policing career working on investigations. He was the Sergeant in charge of the Missing Persons Unit in 2015. Kae was one of 2,382 people reported missing that year. Many of these are followed-up and concluded by patrol officers, but those that remain outstanding usually wind up on Kevin’s desk for a closer look, as was the case with Kae.

Kevin: So, Monday morning I come in this file's on my desk. I quickly give it a read. I assign it to an investigator. One of those investigators, the two constables that are there, reads the file and starts working the file right away. They're making phone calls, they're talking to people associated to Kandice, the missing person, and trying to find where she is, right. That person works that whole day on that file.

This is typically how a missing persons investigation works. Officers will look at the person’s history and try to answer questions like – have they gone missing before? Where and with whom do they hang out? Are they a vulnerable person or in a vulnerable state? Have they been active on social media? Has there been any activity on their bank account?

These are just a few of the questions that investigators would have asked about Kae’s disappearance, and each of these questions that goes unanswered is a red flag. When enough red flags go up, investigators look to take the next step.

So, when the missing persons constable came to Kevin at the end of that first day, he said there’s something strange about this file and we need to take a closer look. They arranged for Kae’s boyfriend to come in for an interview.

Kevin: Halfway through that interview, there’s red flags coming up to me. So, she's been missing for about a week or just over a week now. They are homeless, they are involved with drugs, there is talk about a drug debt, and there's also some domestic violence between the two of them. So, there’s several factors here that are way, way more, I guess, than your regular missing person file. So right from this interview, I go straight to the Staff Sergeant in charge of Major Crime, and we sit down and I say, I have concerns about this file. This is bigger than just missing person <laugh>. I think we need to really consider this as a, you know, possibly foul play being involved here.

The Missing Persons Unit both at the time that Kae went missing and now, is staffed with one Sergeant and two Constables, and they. are. busy. This year, in 2023, the police service is on pace to take 4,000 reports for missing people. Now, not all missing persons investigations have the trajectory that we are seeing Kae’s investigation take. But the reality is that a unit of that size isn’t able to take on an investigation of that scope AND continue to follow-up on all of their other reports. Unfortunately, crime doesn’t stop because the police service is busy.

When it came down to it, missing persons investigators had more questions than answers, and not enough resources to properly follow up. Given the addictions, drug debt, and violence, police were concerned. Those concerns were only amplified when investigators couldn’t find any proof that Kae might still be alive. This is why the investigation would very quickly move to Major Crime. There, it would be assigned to a team of seasoned investigators to follow-up on. This team was led by then-Detective Sergeant Erin Coates.

Erin: When I was assigned Kandice's file, I was a sergeant in major crime, which, um, we get assigned homicide files. So, we take a number of different roles on homicide files and kind of work as a team in the major crime section.

Erin entered the Major Crime Section in 2013, so in addition to her years as a police officer, she also had extensive experience in major case management. Her role as Lead Investigator is to control the speed, flow, and direction of an investigation – basically there isn’t a single thing that happens that Erin doesn’t direct to happen. And after a briefing by Kevin, she was convinced of the urgency to get things moving.

Erin: The fact that Sergeant Montgomery said, “Hey, we need to take a look at this.” Like, he's got massive amounts of experience in the homicide side of the investigations, and this didn't sit right with him. And the more, we talked it out and we laid out some of the red flags that we were seeing. It's like, yep, nope, we need to get rolling on this, 'cause we were already, we were already two days behind by the time it was even reported. And sometimes the farther you are behind, the more you have to catch up – the quicker you need to catch up.

Erin: We did like a workup on Kandice just as far as even figuring out her story. Like the interesting thing about even the drug world or people with addictions and mental health or who are living in these types of circumstances, every single one of them has a story of where they came from and how they got there. And some of them get out, some of them don't.

As you already know, Kae did not in fact get out, which meant that Kevin and Erin, as the early lead investigators, had what seemed like a million questions they needed to find answers to. As they worked to start piecing together the full story, there was a lot of information coming in. For instance, one interview leads to two more people they need to follow-up with, and this continues. And out of that process, there are obvious directions and people to look at – as there typically are when a crime happens.

Erin: I believe people were trying to figure out what seemed the most obvious, the most logical… the opportunity was there, and that was kind of like the easiest solution for them to come to some of the conclusions that they came to.

Some of the information was helpful, and some was not, but investigators followed-up on each and every piece of it. Because even when they followed up on something that turned out to be nothing, they were still answering a question (even if it wasn’t one they knew they had). And we know from speaking to current investigators for this project, they still follow up on information as it comes in.


As we’ve heard from others so far, domestic violence was a component of Kae’s life at the time. Pauline mentioned in the last episode that she was not in a healthy relationship, and while Kae was both the victim and at times the aggressor, it was her boyfriend who assaulted her so significantly while pregnant that her daughter was born premature. Erin is speaking to my co-host Julie here.

Erin: They're justified finger points, if that makes sense. There's a lot of domestic violence history. There's a lot of people that saw Kandice having relationships and what they look like and these relationships unfolding in front of people, and there was valid concern for Kandice's safety and some of the relationships that she was in.

Julie: That is one thing we haven't touched on is their abuse wasn't always private.

Erin: No, absolutely not. We spoke to, well, so many people that had seen the abuse firsthand

But despite all that information, as any well-trained investigator knows, Erin knew she couldn’t have tunnel vision. As cases continue, especially over long periods of time, investigators have the opportunity to speak with people again and oftentimes new information emerges and points them in a different direction or down a new investigative avenue. Erin knew she needed to look at all the information and evaluate what fits together, and how it fits together.

Erin: In my mind, in my investigator's mind, is a major crime investigation is a puzzle and a spiderweb all at the same time. And if I were to only go down one path, in one direction, I'm not doing any justice to my investigation. We explore all of those little spider webs and we go after every single one of those puzzle pieces to kind of figure out where they fit. And if I got stuck going down one path, then I miss all the other clues and hints and puzzle pieces that are around me.

Another early task in any investigation, is canvassing the area and looking for video. And they found some. It was the last time anyone saw Kae alive. It was nighttime and the black and white clip is only seconds long, but Kae comes into the frame as she rides her bike past the camera wearing dark clothes and with her dyed blond hair swept back into a ponytail. You can see her cell phone with the screen lit up in her left hand as she cycles leisurely down the sidewalk. The footage is grainy but not so much that investigators can’t be sure of who it is.

The bike she was riding is described as a dark coloured men’s “Supercycle Cruiser Classic” with whitewall tires and a faux wood grain chain guard. It’s never been found and some investigators we’ve spoken to believe that if we find her bike, we’ll find Kandice.

<bike wheel turning>

As Lead Investigator, several of the tasks that Erin assigned in those early days focused on the river, due to how close it is to where Kae was last seen. Our eye in the sky, the Air Support Unit, was utilized to aid in the search from above. Equipped with infrared camera technology that helps to map heat signatures and other anomalies below, investigators were confident that with the low river levels that year, if Kae was in the river, they would find her.

The Public Safety Unit was another speciality area that helped cover the ground search. They expertly coordinated searches of the riverbank and several other locations around the city. And being equipped with GPS, they were able to review their search grid and determine, to within a meter, if there was somewhere that they missed. This unit was also a critical component of a larger search effort of a landfill in June, less than a month after Kae was last seen. We’ll tell you more about the massive effort it took to prepare and conduct that search – and what they found – in the next episode.

Even with all these efforts, Erin still had questions.

Erin: This just makes my brain spin in the sense of where was she going? What was she thinking? What was going on in her life? Were they receiving threats, right? Like, were they… did she do stuff at midnight to avoid people? Did she… was she avoiding anybody? Was this drug debt out that outstanding that people had already been threatening? We can piece together what was going on in her life, but I don't know if anybody knows the full story.


Finding that full story Erin just spoke of, is further convoluted by the impact of drugs. Both in terms of what they do to a person’s mental ability (and their ability to recall things), and the role drugs play in determining someone’s willingness to talk, and their feeling of safety.

Erin: But I also believe their bizarre behaviour probably had something to do with their substance abuse or if they were on a substance of some sort and people in the drug world are just trying to survive in that world, and the best they can or the best they know how, and most of the time, it’s turning on each other sometimes too or, stealing from each other, just to kind of make it to the next day or make it to their next high or whatever that looks like. I think there is a lot of money owed back and forth between everybody in the drug world, and a lot of people use violence to solve their problems in that drug world as well too, and are scared of each other… scared of each other, what they will do on the drugs… scared of each other, what they'll do if they owe money… Scared, just scared and trying to survive and making sure that they're safe and they get their next high or they get their next fix, whatever that looks like.


Another source of information came from Pauline, Kandice’s mom. As you can imagine, she had a number of people telling her things. And if you put yourself in the shoes of a parent trying to find a missing child, you have to understand why she passed on everything she heard to investigators.

Pauline: I think sometimes they must have thought I was batshit crazy when I would call in, because things that would come forward to me that I had to relay back to them. And, some days I was, I'm sure I thought I had it together, but when you go through these emotions, your child's missing and you're in denial, and then you’re mad and then you’re regretful and so many things. They definitely were patient with me

Here's my co-host Julie speaking with Erin about Pauline’s comments.

Julie: And afterwards she said she kind of regretted believing everything she heard and passing it on. Like she looks back at it now and says, “I don't know if I hindered the investigation doing that or not.”

Erin: Absolutely not. And actually, reviewing my file, I thought a lot about Pauline and how hard it must have been to hang onto those little bits and pieces of hope because you hope that your daughter's okay, you hope that she's gonna be found. You just hope that this one piece of information will be that piece of information that brings it or brings the case to light or brings her home. She didn't hinder us at all. If anything, she definitely helped and added a lot of context to the file for us, which greatly assisted us.

One of the pieces of information that came in early, and was credible, was Kae’s drug debt. Based on what he saw through his investigative experience, we asked Kevin what he knows about drug debts.

Kevin: They will be collected sort of one way or another. And that might mean they need to work them off and by working them off, that might make them being forced into human trafficking end of things or dealing drugs – more drugs – to pay that debt off. So, one way or another they will try and collect on that.

Kelsie: Or violence to themselves

Kevin: Or violence.

To be clear, we don’t believe or have any evidence to suggest that Kae was the victim of human trafficking, but we do believe she was the victim of violence.

We also heard about this retribution of violence from Donna in episode one that has made several people around the investigation ask: Could Kandice’s death have been an accident from a lesson gone wrong? Both Erin and Pauline seem to think this is a possibility.

Erin: Lots of times in the drug world, people will try to scare each other and take things too far. And if it was an accident, then let's figure out if it was an accident and things went too far. But, where is she? Like, where is her body? We need to bring Kandice home. We need to figure out where she is and bring her home to her family.

Pauline: I had heard, and I don't know how, and if it's true, that the people responsible wanted to teach her a lesson and it went wrong. And if that's what happened, why didn't you just come forward and claim it as an accident to… if it was an accident and you took her away, that's not fair… fair to us, fair to her son and her daughter. And if you have any heart at all, would you please come forward and put this to rest for us, because it is a nightmare.

Whether Kae’s life was cut short as a result of an accident or not, it doesn’t lessen the desire of police, or her family, to find answers.

And some of those answers may come from a place we all know a little too well.

Erin: Ya gotta love or hate Facebook, but Facebook almost made things harder…. As far as rumours and suspicion and people dealing with mental health and people on substance abuse.

While Erin says this might have made things harder back then, years later it might just lead to the break in the case police are looking for. Join us for episode four as we pull back the curtain and detail some of the more in-depth search efforts.


That’s next time on Deals, Debts, & Death.

What do a landfill, tunnels, and cell phones have in common? They’re all connected to the search for Kandice. Listen now to find out which of these shows the most promise in finding out what happened to Kandice.

Episode 4: “Needle in a Haystack”

The following podcast deals with mature themes. Listener discretion is advised.

If you have any information that can help bring Kandice home, please come forward to police, or you can remain anonymous by reporting to Crime Stoppers.


Last time on Deals, Debts, & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil, you heard my co-host Kelsie speaking with missing persons and major crime investigators at the time Kandice went missing. They spoke about the intricacies and challenges of investigating a potential homicide in the drug world. With mass amounts of tips and information coming in, leads in the case were pointing in so many different directions.

In episode four, “Needle in a Haystack”, we take you through some of the major leads that saw investigators climbing through crawl spaces, doing some Saskatoon myth-busting, and searching for – what seemed like – a needle in a haystack. A lot has been discovered in almost nine years of this investigation, but we still need to find Kandice. It’s time to get some answers.

I’m Julie, and I’ll be your host for this episode. Deals, Debts, & Death continues now. So, settle in and let’s get to work.


Doug: Oh yeah boy, I'm starting to remember this now.

Detective Staff Sergeant, Doug McNeil is transported back in time as he enters the run-down apartment building in downtown Saskatoon - the last known location of Kandice Singbeil. He was a Detective Sergeant in Major Crime with the Saskatoon Police Service eight years ago when Kandice disappeared. Today, Doug is head of the Interpersonal Conflict Section that oversees the Serious Assault Unit, the Missing Person Unit, the Hate Crime Unit and Victim Services. His career at SPS has led Doug away from Kandice's case, but in his new role as Staff Sergeant, he's back on the file and excited about the work ahead. He's also very proud of the investigative work that was completed almost nine years ago. 

On this day, Doug is giving myself and my co-host, Kelsie, a tour of 2-2-8 3rd Avenue South: The Traveler's Block, a historic, two-storey building dating back to 1912. But as we approach it, we can't help but notice the spaces and allies around this dingy relic; behind it is an addition to the building connected only by a small, second-floor catwalk. The alley it creates is half the width of a normal alley, making it a very private spot for those who seek the shadows. Exhaust fans from nearby restaurants blow strong odours of deep-fried food. Remnants of foil confetti litter the pavement from a nearby night-club tucked discreetly to the side. Recycling, grease, and garbage dumpsters emitting their own unique smells, line the alley that sees constant vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Doug: This is our downtown. This is where people that have addictions and are struggling with having some type of consistency in their lives; they’re congregating here right now, because there’s many services for those people, that are here. It’s both a blessing and a curse. There are services that these people are taking advantage of and using it as required. The off side of that is, there is also nooks and crannies and the means to sometimes find a warm place to stay, and the Traveller’s Block is a classic example. Once you’re inside the building, there’s a few places to hide in there. You can spend the night and stay warm, banks, with their foyers or vestibules.

Julie: It’s such a mix. I’ve seen used needles in this alley lots before, and I’m sure you as an officer have seen other things… And then a Range Rover pulls out… So, it’s just a mix of everyone.

Doug: There is a law office down that alley and I know exactly where that Range Rover came from. I didn’t see who was driving it, but I know there is affluent people down here. But you’re right, you nailed it, it is a mix of everything.

Julie: Walking in this building initially, it’s like I am blasted with smells and sights and things that the typical person isn’t exposed to. How would you describe the physical aspects of this building walking in?

Doug: It hits you right away, just like you said. This going back to the beginning of Saskatoon, this is pre-electricity. You can see in the walls. You can see holes through the walls where electricity lights are added afterwards. You look at the railings inside, how authentic. This is solid wood. This is very old. I would be comfortable in saying that these are original. I am sure the carpets aren’t. Buildings like this have their own story, that’s the interesting thing about it. Something this big downtown in Saskatoon, it’s a residence for many...

<greeting someone passing by>

Doug: Hi, there.

The flow of people is constant in the building, as Doug leads Kelsie and I on the tour. Most people offer a quick hello in passing.

Doug: There’s probably many stories to be told here, but one story specific to this story, and as a good example is; When I contacted the building manager today, to say we wanted to come down here, and actually be inside the building and when I told him why, he knew exactly what the file was. He was very much aware of it. This building has that story attached to it.

Julie: How does it smell to you?

Doug: It has that old, almost like your Grandma’s basement kind of smell, you know what I mean by that? Where there is a mustiness to it.

Kelsie: Musty and stale.

Doug: It has that smell, like anything but new. You go into a new house, you smell a new house, you know that smell. This is everything that’s the opposite of that.

Julie: This is all the smells.

Doug: All the smells that a new place doesn’t have.

Julie: Like you can smell the Restaurants surrounding the area… And the old carpet.

Kelsie: It feels very hot in here today. It feels very warm and sticky, almost uncomfortable.

Julie: Yep.

Doug: Interesting thing is I haven’t been in here since 2015. That’s eight years ago. I had spent a lot of time in here. But, coming back, immediately just smelling it, it takes me back to what was going through my mind when I was focusing on who I wanted to see and what tasks I had. Every time I came here, whether it was with Neil or with Chris, or with Kim in Missing Persons… There was always, just being here, and smelling it and seeing the authenticity of how old this place is… It’s a flashback, it hits me pretty hard.

The units are small with no bathrooms - those are communal. Renting a suite will run you about 500 bucks a month, something Kandice could not afford. She and her boyfriend had been couch surfing here with some other people. 

Doug: As we head up the stairs, you look at the paint, you look at how things have peeled over the years and all the scuff marks. Every one has a story, I’m sure. This general area here, one of the rooms that we focused on first, is down this way here. You can see the mouse traps outside the doors. Can you feel right here, where my foot actually... It almost felt like my foot was going through right here. Just a very old building.

Doug: So, this is the room right here; Where the individuals that were inside woke up that morning and said, ‘Where is Kandice?’ But, the biggest thing for me is back down the stairs where we just started from; I was looking out the glass door across the street to… There was a bus stop… And it’s where one of the individuals that we interviewed on day two, said that he had seen her… She was sitting there… And she had seen some people that she knew, got up and walked away… And that was the last time that anyone that we’ve interviewed or spoke to, said that they saw her… But where she came from before there… Was this room right here.

Another area of the Traveler's Block that Kandice found refuge in was a small closet-like space behind the main floor laundry room. 

Doug: Down this way here will lead us to the laundry room area. You can tell feel these stairs, your feet are almost coming off the edges… The platform of the stairs are giving out.

Julie: The building has seen better days.

Doug (to passerby): Thank you.

Passerby: You’re welcome.

Doug: So, this is the laundry room area here, where we know that there was an interaction, a night or two before she had gone missing. You can see this room here, if you recall the conversation before…There was a room off the laundry room, and, the only way that people were getting access to it was believed to be through something overtop of the door…And that’s the door there.

Although there is only one washer and dryer, this laundry room is much larger than your typical shared laundry in most apartments. The high ceilings, maybe 12 feet, still bear what looks like the original, detailed crown moulding. The walls are a pale yellow and you can tell that years ago, the concrete floor was painted grey. The transom that Doug described above the door to the small room is also very small. Kandice could’ve wiggled through it after being boosted up by another person to gain access.

After Doug pulled the now-unlocked door open, a curious resident behind us pokes his head in for a look, as well. He’s tall with long, white hair and on this day, is dressed in pajama pants and moccasins. He had held the door open for us to enter the laundry room and patiently waited throughout some of our conversation, before firing up the noisy washing machine. He seems half-interested in what we’re doing, as he leans against the machine jingling loose change you can hear in his pocket.

Doug: There were clothes inside this room when we came to go through the building and search.

Julie: You could tell she was staying in here?

Doug: There were clothes that were consistent with something that she may have worn… But we don’t know… We can’t say for sure that they were hers. The door was almost nailed shut back then… It was hard to get open, but we had Management get it open for us. But, we believe that people were getting in. Someone may have gone through there, and then opened the door from the inside. It was a place to stay, a place where you wouldn’t be bothered.

Inside of the laundry room was a sealed-off elevator shaft. The doors were locked and a metal plate had been screwed to the floor to prevent it from being opened. In the search for Kandice, this was one spot Doug literally had to get to the bottom of. 

Doug: I recall them having to take that plate off the floor to actually get to the bottom of the elevator shaft… To get those doors open… But then, that was back in 2015. The management at the time was very, very good to work with, as far as letting us through the whole building. That was the one tough one to get through. It was, “Let us have a look, we have to rule everything out.”

Julie: And what did you find down there?

Doug: It was nothing, and there was no way people could get below it.

Kelsie: It sounds like you left no rock unturned when you were going through this building.

Doug: You can’t… It wasn’t hard to do, because the Building Manager at the time… He had access to the whole building. He knew the building… Residents… He knew the people we were talking about. He recalled seeing them in this room, and having to move them out at some point in time because they didn’t live here, but they were friends of people who lived here. But, he looked back in his records and he recalls who he believed to be Kandice and her boyfriend at the time, and saying; “Look, you don’t belong here, you gotta go.” And it all matched up.

The search of the Traveler's Block didn't produce any evidence that led investigators closer to finding Kandice, but a lot of tips were ruled out, including a bizarre one; Near the end of the summer in 2015, Police received information that Kandice and her boyfriend had accessed tunnels below the streets of Saskatoon. Investigators were told that these tunnels could be accessed through the Traveler's Block and that Kandice might still be down there. 

Doug: The first bit of information that we had… If there were tunnels, they said it was a door across from the laundry room… Which is that door there. Here’s the door here… You could see how with that being glass, it’s just barely holding on. I am afraid to even touch it. This is the door that was described to be leading to the tunnels. Now the tunnels… We of course, any of the information that comes in, we have to corroborate. You have to look into it, you have to investigate it and decide whether it is relevant or not. There are no tunnels in this city; but it’s the work that came afterward to say, we’re aware of it, this is what we did… This is what we found out…  And this is why we don’t believe that’s the case, but these are the steps that were taken. It all started here. This door here was screwed shut from the outside. So, we had to get the building managers to unscrew all the screws... I think have a flashlight on my phone…

Julie: Yeah, what are we seeing? Like…This is a tiny, old, very beat up door…

Doug: A very, very old beat up door that leads to underground of this building.

The brittle, antique door looked as though it could fall off its hinges at any moment, with one, small pane of glass balancing in the window frame, yet it was secured with a padlock. Through the window, by the light of Doug's cell phone flashlight, we were able to see inside of the space below the stairs that resembled something similar to a closet. There were exposed pipes on the walls leading down into a dark space at the back of the room. A loose board lay over what looked to be, the entry to a crawl space. 

Doug: When you wrap your head around it and you actually get on the other side of that wall… It’s just literally open ground below the building… Where sewer lines or water lines or what have you, that have been dug up, or ran, where you could get still some kind of access to, but there’s no way a human body can get past it... Unfortunately, that is going through my head; can a body through this or can someone get a body through there? And there was absolutely no way… Like its just… It can’t happen.

Kelsie: So, you’ve climbed through there?

Doug: I was through there. There were many days I went back to the office… Especially leaving this building… Where, in the days that we were going through everything, and I was going through this… Climbing into that back room I just showed you, this is where I got the dirtiest... You know, I think I went through a couple pairs of pants during that summer where we were looking in every nook and cranny where we could. Yeah, it’s just… It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. You’ve got to get your job done and have it come back. It was June… And it was hot… Like, I remember June 2015 was beautiful… Which was good… Because we spent a lot of our time in the allies and in the surrounding area… Which we can go out to right away, when we’re done here, but...

Kelsie: And, you never did find any tunnels, hey?

Doug: There were no tunnels… But there were some good stories that came of that.

Investigators even went as far as the City of Saskatoon Archives to fact-check the long-believed local myth that there are tunnels below Saskatoon’s downtown core. As it turns out, there are no tunnels, but old, underground easements on the side of buildings, below the sidewalks. Still, no Kandice. 

As we head back outside, we’re reacquainted with the sights and smells of the alley.

Julie: So, now we’re below the catwalk.

Doug: We’re below the catwalk… This is an alleyway… Again, as I mentioned before, oftentimes when we came back to the building, we were coming to locate people for further interviews. Sometimes we would find them inside the building… Sometimes we would find them here in the laundry room area, or just outside here… To confirm that there were no tunnels downtown, we got inside this building… Got into the basement… And realized that along this area here… What you don’t see…But you see it when you’re in the basement of this building, is it also has an encroachment that comes underneath the alleyway, and there is three of them… As you walk down this way towards third avenue, I would say they are probably at least three feet in diameter…But, they’re round doors, that would lift up. And coal wagons used to come down this alley and drop coal into the basements. And, this building had it, there was a few others that have it… But that just goes back to how old these buildings are.

As intriguing as the thoughts of tunnels under the streets of Saskatoon are, that tip did not get investigators closer to finding Kandice. But something did happen at the Traveler's Block. Something that would lead investigators down a whole new track…

Doug: So, standing here looking this way, this is the video where, at some point in the night we had seen someone walking out with a sheet over their shoulder and throwing something into one of these bins... This is where that happened.


Tyson: So my name is Tyson Lavallee. In 2015, I was an Investigator with the Major Crime Section. At the time, I had already been in the unit since 2013.

Inspector Tyson Lavallee, who was a Detective Sergeant in Major Crime at the time, was the designated search coordinator in the investigation. He was tasked by lead investigator Erin Coates, who we heard from in the last episode, with ensuring that all details were approved and in-place so different searches could be conducted, successfully. 

When Police discovered a concerning piece of surveillance footage that spiked their interest, the search for Kandice Singbeil was about to get very large. 

Tyson: In the first week of the investigation, we had canvassed and received video from several locations around the Traveller’s Block. One of those videos included a view in the back alley behind the Traveller’s Block. And, at one point during that week, we became aware of a person in the back alley appearing to carry something large in a white sheet… And throw it into a dumpster.

If there was any possibility that Kandice was under that sheet, investigators soon realized...they're going to have to search a landfill. 

<Seagulls, back-up beepers, heavy equipment engines revving >

Julie: Just kind of describe when that picture was taken, what it was like that day.

Tyson: Yeah, it was a sunny, hot day. We’re talking June 5, right? So, lots of seagulls… Many different odours… Like I said, it’s an industrial operation… So, you’ve got big equipment moving around.

Julie: What was going through your mind when you walked out there for the first time?

Tyson: What was going through my mind was that this was going to be a very hard job if we have to search this landfill. My first thoughts were… Okay, I have to landmark this.

Julie: It sounds like a literal hunt for the needle in haystack.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah… It sure was.

After researching, assessing and documenting everything about both, the City of Saskatoon landfill and a private landfill just outside the city, Tyson and the team were positive that Kandice was not in the City dump. 

Tyson: The private landfill had taken steps. They've modernized the way they collect garbage. So, their trucks are all GPS equipped. So, I knew who their driver was… I knew the route that he took that day… That when he did his pickup, there’s cameras in the dumpster area. So, when they collect it and the arms pick up the dumpsters and dump ‘em in… That camera can be viewed… So, I knew I could interview the driver, because he watches those loads go in. I can confirm with the driver where he dropped it off, and I have a GPS that can confirm where it got dropped off. So, I know exactly on that cliff face, where he dumped... So, that turned something that is the size of a football field, to something that is maybe closer to... I don’t know, a tennis court.

This search was one of Tyson's largest tasks in the investigation; 

World-renowned forensic anthropologist, Dr. Ernie Walker agreed to offer his services and expertise. He had experience seeking out and identifying human remains during a 2010 Saskatoon landfill search, and in 2002, he was involved in a massive land search during the high-profile Robert Pickton case out of Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Cadaver dog teams from the Calgary Police Service were acquired to help. 

A command post from the Province to serve as home-base was brought in. 

Twenty-person teams from the SPS Public Safety Unit were organized to physically search for Kandice, and the SPS Forensic Identification Unit was on-hand to take samples and document evidence. 

The Major Crime Section also had to convince the Police Service to say 'yes' to all of this. Recognizing the importance and urgency of the situation, management approved the pitch almost immediately. 

Tyson: So, in those 15 days, we were able to coordinate multiple agencies… Some from out of Province… Get resources we need… Liaise and have our Legal Team work with this private company to establish what this looks like… And, put all these resources together for a location that we could search.

Julie: So, as a coordinator in that time, that sounds like a very fast time period of time to do a ton of work. But, on the other side of it being a missing person case, 15 days is a long time.

Tyson: Absolutely. The other thing to consider, is that as we’re prepping for this, that investigation isn’t stopping.

At the same time, other major searches were underway. As you heard in the previous episode, the river and its banks were being scoured by the Air Support and Public Safety Units. Working against the clock, there were no breaks for officers.

Tyson recalls being very grateful for how organized and professional staff at the landfill were to work with. It only took the team a few hours to figure out the most efficient way to go about searching for that needle. 

Tyson: So, the operator would take his excavator, move it down, and basically run a string of garbage 10-feet-wide and 2-feet-deep, for like 50 feet.

Julie: To sort of spread it out?

Tyson: Well, and really it was just a row, because it was only 10 feet across. So, that allowed… what we realized if we do that, then we can run the dog on either side and over, and its not a big span. It was safer for the dog, safer for the handler, and it was very easy to search that 10-foot-wide portion, just walk 50 feet and search that strip… Really, it was like a strip of garbage… And it was only 2-feet-high. We could really do a good job, and the dogs could have really good exposure to the contents of that garbage.

Julie: Just so we can get a visual… Because a lot of people don’t, again, visit a dump… What does this garbage look like that you’re actually physically digging through?

Tyson: That’s a good question. So, I guess I am going to reverse that on you… What are we looking for?

The search team was tasked with finding bicycles or bike parts, as Kandice was last seen with her cruiser bike. They were given very, specific details on the clothing she was last seen wearing. Dr. Ernie Walker then explained to the team what finding a month-old body might be like, in the early summer heat.


Tyson: At the end of the day, what they may find is remains of Kandice. And we have to possibly consider and allow them the time to mentally prepare for what they’re about to do because it’s an incredibly hard job to start with in a location that’s incredibly challenging.

Julie: Lots to consider...

Tyson: Lots to consider... So, yeah, we had prepped them for what they may find. It could be anything from body fat, to coagulated blood or dried blood… They were given a description of different types of maggots that would, as your body decomposes, so, if you see an area where maggots are or are coming from. You know that’s going to be something you are going to want to investigate further.

Julie: So, it’s a lot more than just looking for a body.

Tyson: No, no... It’s right down to a bit of blood… A piece of hair… Right? Anything.

In three days, the team combed through 184,000 cubic feet of material. They located five bicycles, animal carcasses in various stages of decomposition, and plenty of maggots – but no Kandice. Their efforts weren't for nothing; Tyson says the team did outstanding work and when he had to face Kandice's mom, Pauline to deliver the news, he was proud to say with 100% confidence that Kandice was not in the landfill - another lead that could be crossed off the list. 

Thankfully, the list of leads and incoming information in this case is not sparse. The next large-scale, investigative approach Tyson faced, happened six years later, while heading up the Missing Person Taskforce. 

<Facebook notification>

Not much was consistent in Kandice's life but her social media activity definitely was. Her Facebook account became a treasure trove of information for investigators. 

Tyson: What I came to see was that a lot of our suspect information, the evidence we were using, was coming from Kandice’s Facebook Messenger. That was one thing we were able to secure early on in the investigation. And, in doing so, it helped the investigation. It led us to a lot of leads, or if tips did come in… We were able to use that to gather evidence because she had a very, very large library of conversations on her Facebook Messenger.

Julie: And contacts?

Tyson: And contacts… And conversations going back years.

Police came across one of those conversations when they were actually investigating someone else involved in completely separate crime.


Tyson: And in that case, a warrant was written, and his cellphone was seized. It’s, I think, called a Cellebrite, it’s a manufacturer…It’s out of the box software that takes your phone and it breaks it into a report: here’s all your text messages, here’s your pictures, here’s your… it’s a tool. The investigator, while he’s debriefing me, said, “Yeah, Kandice is one of his friends.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” “Well, there is a whole conversation with him and Kandice on his cellphone.”

What Tyson was hearing was that Kandice was linked to yet another person – and not just anyone, but a person involved with buying and selling drugs.

Tyson: She wasn’t liked by a lot of people...

Julie: Being in the drug world?

Tyson: Being in the drug world.... She had dabbled in dealing, she had shortchanged people, she had ripped some people off. She was associated to, you know, high level drug dealers. And so, she was in a dangerous world... she was living in a really dangerous world.

Julie: In which she had burned some bridges?

Tyson: In which she had burned some bridges. And that was clear in this little cellphone conversation that I had. She had been friends with this person for a long time. And, knowing full well there’s people in that catalogue of contacts. And, people that have had recent conversations at the time with Kandice, that no one came to us and said, “Hey, I’m friends with her.” Or, “I spoke to her in the month leading up…” Those people never came to us, right? We had an opportunity to look at that timeframe, from 2015, 2016, 2017… And to consider; is there someone else in her friend circle, or fellow drug dealers, or people that she hung out with in that community, that kind of dumpster-diving, meth-addicted world, and we’re lawfully in possession of these conversations… What’s stopping us to see if there’s mention of her disappearance, potentially of her murder?

Enter ‘Project Searchlight’. This aspect of the investigation is not as overt as searching a landfill, but in the shadows of the online world lies equal mass amounts of information for investigators to comb through. 

Members from the Saskatoon Police Service Tech Crimes Unit were called upon to see just how many of these seized devices and ‘Cellebrite’ reports could lead to the suspect.

Tyson: They were able to come back to me and say, “We have 74.”  Like, wow…

Julie: Seventy-four connected to Kandice?

Tyson: Seventy-four Cellebrite reports that have some sort of connection either to Kandice or the meth world… You know, that street community.

With Tyson's promotion, he no longer has an active role in the investigation, but Project Searchlight is ongoing behind the scenes. Officers are data-mining, listening to years-old conversations, viewing tens of thousands of pictures and videos and decoding text messages that were never intended for anyone else to see, let alone cops. Thanks to the law, this could mean an evidence winfall for investigators. 

Staff Sergeant Doug McNeil shares the excited sentiment now that Kandice's file is back on his desk. He's eager to get to work and finally find out who is responsible for the disappearance of Kandice Singbeil.

Doug: I'm glad you brought me back down here today, because, as I’m back in this section now and I’m getting more into this file with Aaron, and as we want to, you know, take this opportunity that you guys are giving us right now with the podcast to reach out to people again. And, it brings that excitement back. The excitement being, you know, we’re going to do this. Like, let's do this.


Coming up in episode five we’ve recapped what nearly nine years of an investigation encompasses. A ton of work has been completed by extremely skilled officers, so what more can be done? According to Detective Sergeant Aaron Moser, the new lead investigator and final voice in our series, there is no such thing as a dead end. Especially not in the search to find Kandice.

Aaron: “You know there is that saying ‘when one door closes, another door opens’, and I would characterize the state of this investigation and the course of the investigation kind of in that manner. We are going to resolve this case.”


That’s next time on Deals, Debts, & Death.

We’ve tried our best to visually describe in this episode, what investigators were dealing with; a historic building in Saskatoon’s downtown core filled with nooks and crannies, dingy back alleys, and an extensive search of a massive landfill. You can actually see these never-before-seen investigative photos with your own eyes by visiting our photo gallery at

Kandice is one of 19 long-term missing persons in Saskatoon, but her case is far from cold and inactive. In this episode, we hear from Kandice herself and shift gears from what has been done, to what’s next when we speak with the current lead investigator of the file.

Episode 5: “When one door closes, another one opens”

The following podcast deals with mature themes. Listener discretion is advised.

If you have any information that can help bring Kandice home, please come forward to police, or you can remain anonymous by reporting to Crime Stoppers.


Last time on Deals, Debts, & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil, you heard my co-host Julie speak to investigators responsible for three significant pieces of the ongoing investigation – the search of the area Kandice was last seen and a private landfill, and Project Searchlight – a data mining operation of cell phones that have been seized by police.

In episode five, “When one door closes, another one opens”, we introduce you to Detective Sergeant Aaron Moser. Aaron is the lead investigator of Kandice’s file, and we want to know: what’s next?

I’m Kelsie, and I’ll be your host for this episode. Deals, Debts, & Death continues now. So, settle in and let’s get to work.


When someone goes missing, if they aren’t found within a year, they are considered a long-term missing person; Kandice is one of 19 in Saskatoon.

Similar to the Singbeil’s, there are other families grappling with the devastation of not knowing what happened to their loved one, and wondering where they might be. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and never-ending unanswered questions. This feeling has a clinical term; it’s called ambiguous loss. We aren’t medical professionals so I’ll quote the Mayo Clinic’s definition as a person’s profound sense of loss and sadness not associated with a death of a loved one. In other words, there remains an emotional connection but the physical one is gone. With Kandice, there was an absence of being able to say goodbye, leaving those left behind struggling to find a new normal. Another way to look at it, is it’s left these families with a perpetual but sometimes elusive sense of hope that they often question.

Pauline: Hope? Boy, that is a strong word. I was always told never, never to lose hope. It's always there. There are days when I lose hope because the reality is it’s been a long time. You see other story’s that have gone unanswered for many years, but of course there's always hope. If you lose hope, it’s kind of your demise.

But while hope comes and goes for the family, it hasn’t for any of the investigators that we’ve spoken with. They all believe the future holds answers to this investigation. And Erin Coates, the lead investigator whom you heard from in episode three, would love to be the one to deliver the news to the Singbeil’s.

Erin: When I left the section, I can't remember who the Staff Sergeant in charge was at the time, but I've always thought like, if I am still working here - and I better still be working here when we find Kandice - and can I be the one that shows up at Pauline's door and gets to share the news? Whether that's possible or not, I don't know. That's kind of a pipe dream of mine, but I really hope I get to see it, experience it, hear it at least while I’m still working here.

We asked everyone we spoke to what it will take to solve Kandice’s file. And the answers were unanimous: It’s going to take someone coming forward with that one piece of information that cracks this wide open. They might not even know they have it, but hopefully... maybe even by listening to this podcast... it triggers a memory for someone. Or maybe someone’s life circumstances have changed that now is the right time for them to come forward. Here’s Tyson, the orchestrator of the landfill searches and Project Searchlight.

Tyson: Because their lives change. Like in, I've been around here long enough that the baddest of the bad. When I was in my younger days, we used to work in the gang unit and, you know, I've seen what 10-15 years does to some of the hardest core people in our society, right? And life just happens. Addictions happen, poverty happens, bad health happens, time happens.

Julie: Time is not on their side.

Tyson: No, right. And that happens for, you know, even our people that may know something, that all of a sudden, they could be in a position where the reasons why they were so reluctant, change.

In June of 2016, a man named Jerry Constant plead guilty in the Saskatoon Court of then-Queen’s Bench for his role in the murder of Karina Wolfe. Karina was a 20-year-old Indigenous woman who went missing in 2010, and whose remains were found five years later, in 2015, only a few months after Kandice went missing. We bring up this file because of the way that it was solved. A CBC Saskatoon article reported that Constant turned himself in to police, having attended to the headquarters building distraught and hearing voices. He gave police critical information that led to the discovery of Wolfe’s remains in a rural area northwest of the city.

This is one example of what it can take. Erin Coates was in Major Crime at the time of Jerry Constant’s confession, and while she wasn’t involved as the lead investigator of that file, she describes what that feeling would be like for the person bringing the information forward, and the peace they may finally be able to find.

Erin: It would be a relief. It'd be an unbelievable relief and a weight off somebody’s shoulders that they’re walking around with a secret and the secret isn’t theirs to carry alone. There’s a whole community of people that supported Kandice. There’s a whole community of people that hopefully support them and coming forward could relieve that burden.


Up until this point, we’ve told you what has been done over the last eight years, but we wanted to know: ‘what’s next?’ We’ve heard that despite Kandice being considered a long-term missing person, the investigation is far from being classified as cold or inactive. And who better to give us some answers than the officer who’s in charge of the file today.

Aaron: My name is Aaron Moser. I am the Sergeant in charge of the Missing Person Task Force and the lead investigator on the Kandice Singbeil file.

Aaron has over 20 years of policing experience, and as the current lead investigator, he knows there are pros and cons to coming into this file more than 8 years after it first happened. On one hand, you’ve got a massive amount of information to review, but on the flip side, you’re not starting from scratch.

But a new investigator also offers a fresh set of eyes and a perspective, and Aaron has just that. Within all that information, being able to lean on all the investigative experience that has been done already, he can glean new avenues and leads to chase down.

Aaron: It's probably one of the largest investigations that our police service has ever been involved in in terms of the resources and manpower and the different investigative tactics that have been used over the course of the investigation. So, with that comes a lot of information that has to be reviewed, but the advantage is that all that work has been done. And, you know, there’s that saying when one door closes, another door opens, and, I would characterize the state of this investigation and the course of the investigation kind of in that manner. I'm really excited about, you know, the coming months and the next year because I think that we have a number of strong investigative leads that we’re going to be in the process of following up on.

Part of what Aaron is talking about here is Project Searchlight, which you heard about in the last episode from Tyson. When Tyson left that unit, investigators were starting to comb through the 74 Cellebrite reports – that’s the data that comes from a person’s phone.

Aaron: Project Searchlight is still an active project within this investigation. And I anticipate that it will remain active for a considerable period of time because of how much information was gleaned from it. We were able to identify and confirm a number of different individuals who had communication with Kandice, who had relationships with Kandice.

We couldn’t help but wonder – with all that information from the Cellebrite reports, should people whose phones have been seized by police, be worried? Aaron wouldn’t answer us directly, but he does confirm that they’ve identified a number of different people, and that that information is informing their investigation going forward. We’re going to speculate here, but maybe, just maybe, some of those people should be worried.

Up until this point, the investigators you’ve heard from have been open with us about the investigation and what they’ve found – and probably more appropriately, what they didn’t find. But when we speak with Aaron, it’s different. This is a file that is on Aaron’s desk. Even when we try to push him for more, he holds his ground. Here’s my co-host Julie.

Julie: <laugh> So, I'm just gonna play devil's advocate a little bit here.

Aaron: Sure.

Julie: I work for the Saskatoon Police, too. But people on the outside need to know, even us on the inside, don’t get the full inside scoop on investigations. Like, you’re not revealing all your cards. There are investigative tactics here. So, is there things that you can even hint about doing or places you’re gonna search or..? You use the word ‘may’ a lot, but what’s happening behind the scenes?

Aaron: Yeah. And I understand why people would want to know the answers to those questions. This, because this still is an active investigation and because we do believe Kandice was a victim of foul play, I can’t tip my hat, too much to that. We don’t want to jeopardize the investigation.


Towards the end of 2015, after hearing the family’s public plea for assistance in a police news conference, a person came into the headquarters building with a bag of items that had belonged to Kandice. Aaron, who was actually unassociated to the file at the time, was the officer that received those items. In the bag were a number of photo albums and books. One of those books was a small diary. On one page, amongst the mess of scribbles and random notes written in red ink, we came across a poem that appears to have been written during one of Kandice’s periods of incarceration. Throughout it all, we were struck by her level of awareness to her situation and understanding of why she did what she did, but also how she seemed to foreshadow her future.

While this isn’t Kandice’s voice, these are her words:

Why am I here?

‘Cause I failed and ended up in jail.

Why don’t I change, ‘cause.

Why am I here?

Why am I scared to succeed?

It would be the best, indeed.

I dry my tears and hide my fears,

I miss my boys.

I try so hard to stay apart.

I’m doing my time in a cell,

That seems to ring a bell.

I made a mistake - that’s all it takes.

I was selling blow, to keep my flow, on the go,

But now I’m screwed, ‘cause I got caught.

Now I pay the price, just like dice.

I have hope but still, I do dope.

I took a toke, blow out the smoke.

But still I feel insane, so I stick a needle in my vein.

Try to cover up all the pain.

It’s like all the years of being hurt and abused, I’m so confused.

I try and I try but I still end up crying.

But I want to change and succeed, oh yes indeed.

I’m far apart from the start,

But minute after minute, hour after hour, the clock is ticking,

So, I better start.


We asked Aaron what he thought after having read the poem.

Aaron: It's a very... it’s a lot of suffering. I feel as though it allows me to see Kandice through the eyes of somebody who knew her, or somebody who cared for her. There are so many emotions that come through in the poem, that she’s expressing. It was haunting, and knowing that her life ended and she was never able to get herself to a place where she clearly wanted to be.

Aaron believes there are two ways this file gets solved; a confession or good old-fashioned police work.

So, until we get that break in the case, we don’t stop. More people will be spoken to, new information will be followed up on, and the investigation continues. If the person or persons responsible are listening, we’ll repeat ourselves: We. Don’t. Stop.

So, let’s get to work and finally bring Kandice home.


Julie: At the time of this podcast release, we’re nearing Christmas; a special time of year when families typically gather together. Once again, the Singbeil family will feel the void Kandice has left behind – that empty seat at the table that they’ve been waiting for Kandice to return to. It will be their ninth Christmas without her. If you or someone you know can help bring her home, please contact Police. You can also remain anonymous by reporting to Crime Stoppers.

Kelsie: We’d like to thank everyone who made this podcast possible:

Julie: First and foremost, we want to extend our deep gratitude and appreciation to the Singbeil family, for again, sharing their thoughts, memories, and love for Kandice with us.

Kelsie: We’d also like to recognize and thank Donna Gilchrist for sharing her lived experiences and allowing us as close to a first-hand view of what Kandice’s final years were like.

Julie: Our appreciation also goes out to the SPS investigators for working with and trusting us to share aspects of the investigation: Staff Sergeant Doug McNeil, Sergeant Aaron Moser, Inspectors Erin Coates and Tyson Lavallee, as well as retired Sergeant Kevin Montgomery.

Kelsie: Lastly, thank you to you, the listeners, subscribers, and our overall podcast community. We are incredibly grateful for your support, feedback, and enthusiasm. When – not if – there are updates to this file, you can trust we will be back to share exclusive details with you here, on Deals, Debts & Death: The Disappearance of Kandice Singbeil.

<Copyrighted Music: Skylar Grey – Coming Home, Pt. II (Official Video) (2014)>

Show Notes:

First and foremost, we want to extend our deep thanks and appreciation to the Singbeil family, for again sharing their thoughts, memories, and love, for Kandice with us.

We'd also like to recognize and thank Donna Gilchrist for sharing her lived experiences and allowing us as close to a first-hand view of what Kandice’s final years were like.

We would also like to thank the SPS investigators for working with and trusting us to share aspects of the investigation – Staff Sergeant Doug McNeil, Sergeant Aaron Moser, Inspectors Erin Coates and Tyson Lavallee, as well as retired Sergeant Kevin Montgomery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addictions, please reach out. Resources include:

Kandice Singbeil - Investigation Gallery

View Kandice Singbeil in the SACP missing persons database.

Have a tip to report?

If you want to report the information you have about this investigation, you can contact SPS at 306-975-8300.

You can also report anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.