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Neighbours suggest police search of St. John’s home linked to Cortney Lake’s disappearance

Philip Steven Smith is led into provincial court in St. John's today, around the time when RNC officers were searching his home on Alice Drive.
Philip Steven Smith is led into provincial court in St. John's today, around the time when RNC officers were searching his home on Alice Drive.

Police executed a warrant Wednesday to search a home on Alice Drive, but will not disclose why.

A neighbor told The Telegram Wednesday afternoon that police had been canvassing local residents asking if any of them had information about Cortney Lake. The 24-year-old has been missing since June 7.

Meanwhile, a resident of the Alice Drive home — a man who is known to Lake — appeared in court Wednesday morning on a number of charges unrelated to her disappearance.

RNC officers have been inside and outside the home, in the Ridge Road area of St. John’s, since this morning waiting for the warrant.

During that time, 23-year-old Philip Steven Smith appeared in provincial court, charged with eight counts of breaching a recognizance, two counts of failing to comply with a probation order, and one count of driving while disqualified, all said to have occurred in Mount Pearl and St. John's between June 7 and 22.

Four charges were dated June 22 — breaching a recognizance, which include conditions that ordered him to reside at 20 Newtown Road, Long Harbour or notify the RNC in writing or any change of address, breach of probation, and to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, especially towards Lisa Lake — who is Cortney Lake’s mother.

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Smith was represented in court by Robert Hoskins of Bob Buckingham Law Firm. He and prosecutor Erin Matthews agreed to set the case over to Tuesday for a possible bail hearing.

According to court information, Cortney Lake took out and subsequently withdrew two separate peace bonds against Smith in April and May of this year. In May, Smith took out a peace bond against Lake, which was dropped once it reached court after her disappearance.

Members of Lake's family confirmed to The Telegram that Smith is her ex-boyfriend.

Lake, 24, disappeared three weeks ago exactly, last seen in Mount Pearl the evening of June 7. Her family and police have been pleading with anyone with any information on her whereabouts to come forward. Family and friends have been circulating posters online with the hashtag #helpfindcortney and around town with Lake's photo, hoping the mother of one will be found safe.

Next door to the Alice Drive home, one of the posters was visible in the living room window.

A white tent remains erected in the home’s back yard, though RNC Const. Geoff Higdon explained it wasn’t protecting found evidence, but sheltering police officers — who were keeping the perimeter of the house secure pending the arrival of the warrant — from the rain. The Rovers were temporarily on site to erect the tent, he said.  

“Cortney has been gone three weeks today,” Lake’s aunt Glenda Power wrote on Facebook early Wednesday afternoon. “We are frantic for her return. Please, anyone who has information on her whereabouts call the RNC or CrimeStoppers.”

Information can be provided to the RNC by calling 729-8000 or to Crime Stopper anonymously by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.

 

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