Answers may come soon in year-old Blue Mountains murders

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Police say they're nearly ready to talk about the killings of Michael and Kathy Rogers, the Craigleith couple found dead in their log home in an affluent neighbourhood near Blue Mountain Resort one year ago tomorrow.

Ontario Provincial Police communications Sgt. Peter Leon confirmed police are closer to an answer. "I think we are," he said in an interview. "We are getting very, very close to the end I believe. We can certainly say that."

Police have kept quiet about their investigation but Leon said he hopes in the "very near future" to "speak a little bit more with respect to what's happened over the last year."

The violent deaths of the couple is still a source of speculation and few facts. A Kitzbuhl Cres. neighbour acquainted with the Rogerses said Wednesday he hopes police will announce what they've found out, if only for the family's sake. He'd like to know who killed the two and why.

"You talk to 50 different people, you get 50 different stories," he said, adding "I just know that two wonderful people were killed." The Rogers Kitzbuhl Cres. home, which was for sale when the couple were killed, was sold in early April.

Blue Mountain Resort colleagues reported Michael Rogers, 56, missing, which led police to discover the bodies of him and Kathy, 55, at their home. Immediately after discovering the crime scene, police said it was murder but advised residents to not be concerned about their own safety.

Two days later, June 8, 2012, Michael Rogers' 48-year-old brother, Adam Rogers, died in a head-on collision when his SUV crossed into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer, killing Rogers instantly and leaving the truck driver with minor injuries.

Police have never linked all three deaths and never confirmed when asked if Adam was a person of interest in the murder case. But on June 9 police searched Adam Rogers' Barrie home and his locker at the Honda plant in Alliston, where he worked as a contract employee. The warrants allowing the searches were sealed.

Sources contacted by officers involved in the investigation, and who have spoken with QMI on condition of anonymity, said he is a person of interest.

Adam Rogers filed a lawsuit against his older brother the year before the three died. It was over money in a 2003 business arrangement with Michael which left bad blood at least on Adam's part, who felt unfairly treated by his brother, the Globe and Mail reported last September, citing records filed in Barrie court.

Behind the counter at Royal Majesty Espresso Bar in Blue Mountain Village Wednesday, co-owner Sergio Fiorino talked with sadness about Mike Rogers, who would come in for coffee daily before work and would sit and chat with him.

"With Mike, I just couldn't imagine who would want to do that to him. Because he was always happy, always smiling, super friendly guy. That's what bothers me the most -- not that I would wish that upon anyone -- but that's the last guy you'd want that to happen to."

He said he heard wild rumours which challenged Fiorino's perception of Rogers but they didn't change his view of him at all. Then when Adam Rogers died, the coffee shop owner felt the murder case was closed, he said.

"It sounded like it was a family matter and that's all it takes is someone in the family to be a little bit unstable and to be very upset about something . . . ." There was relief of a sort in the community after that because, if true, it meant the deaths weren't random and the community wasn't in danger, he said.

Blue Mountain president and chief operating officer, Dan Skelton, knew both Adam Rogers, having gone to high school with him, and Michael, whom he knew well professionally as Blue's manager of homeowner services. "He's still missed. We dedicated a flower up in Memory Lane garden to he and his wife."

It's a landscaped garden with rock sculptures and iron flowers overlooking Georgian Bay atop the mountain. It's off Memory Lane ski and hiking trails, where are placed memorial plaques honouring longtime friendships formed on the slopes. The Rogers' marble plaque was installed in late May.

Skelton saw Adam Rogers on occasion since high school, on the ski hill and in the community. "We all came from the same high school. We all had the same friends." He himself skied with Adam Rogers in spring two years ago.

Of the legal dispute between the brothers and reports Adam was a person of interest to police, Skelton said "It was a surprise to me. I had no indications of that. No, it was a complete surprise. I know both of them in different contexts. I don't know them both together in that context."

He added: "I've heard so much speculation that I tune it out. So I'm waiting for the same thing you are, a definitive police report."

Two weeks after Michael, Kathy and Adam Rogers died, the Rogers family issued a statement.

"Mike and Kathy possessed an endless supply of love, compassion, and generosity. Quick to provide words of encouragement and supportive actions to anyone who needed a helping hand, theirs was the kind of wisdom and advocacy you could always count on. We will miss their sense of humour, warm embraces and unconditional love."

Concerning Adam Rogers, the family also said in a separate statement: "Adam was struggling to comprehend the shocking news given to him only 24 hours earlier about the death of his older brother Michael, and sister-in-law Kathryn, of Blue Mountain. Their bond was born in youth of mutual affection, support, and respect.

"Adam was a proud and private man who cared for his family, enjoyed motorcycles, and engaged in a range of outdoor recreational activities. We will all deeply miss Adam."



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