Meanwhile, earlier Thursday evening, police located the body of a male at the blast site. Peel Const. Harinder Sohi said police have been unable to identify the age or identity of the body, which he said was discovered “earlier this evening.” Police can’t confirm whether the second body found is that of Nadler, but police have said he is “unaccounted for.”
A member of Nadler’s family told the Star that the 55-year-old is the same man convicted of a Mississauga murder in 1982.
Sohi said the force’s homicide squad continues to monitor the investigation into the deadly blast on Hickory Drive that officers are treating as suspicious.
Peel Sgt. Josh Colley told media at a news conference earlier Thursday that Nadler and Page live in the home on Hickory Drive that blew up.
Colley said homicide officers are monitoring the case due to the suspicious circumstances but denied media reports that the case is being treated as a homicide at this time. Until a cause has been established and further evidence can be gathered from the blast site, the case will remain “suspicious ” and be handled by the 12 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Colley didn’t rule out that Nadler’s body is in the large rubble that crews are slowly sifting through.
“He hasn’t been located,” Colley said, adding that if Nadler is alive somewhere, “we haven’t spoken to him.”
The News has learned a special team of Peel Regional Police officers is searching for evidence of foul play, sources say, as investigators continue to sift through the rubble of Tuesday’s explosion.
Property records show the home on Hickory Dr., at the centre of the blast, is owned by Robert Walter Nadler, 55, and his wife Diane Page.
Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett said a specialized canine search-and-rescue team sniffed around the rubble and found no evidence of living victims.
Property records show ownership of the home was transferred to Robert Nadler by Frank Nadler in 2009. A call to a number associated to the home goes to a voicemail for “Bob and Diane.”
Robert Nadler’s age on property records match that of another Robert Nadler from Mississauga, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 1982 for killing a friend over a drug debt, according to articles from the Star’s archives.
The Star was unable to confirm that this is the same Nadler who owns the home on Hickory Drive, and police would not comment.
After being turned in by a friend, the Nadler in that case admitted to bludgeoning, strangling and stabbing his best friend, Eric Pogson, in a fight over $800.
Pogson’s body was found in a shallow grave in a thick bush near Golden Orchard Drive in Mississauga. Robert Nadler was given a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years.
Pogson was reported missing by his family on June 28, 1979, exactly 37 years to the day of Tuesday’s explosion.
Colley said police won’t comment on someone’s possible criminal past and how it impacts the case.
Meanwhile, fire officials say the cause of the Hickory Drive explosion is still unknown. While natural gas is the focus of the investigation, they are not ruling out any other possibilities.
The investigation is expected to take several days.
Peel Regional Police’s Public Safety Unit, a unit of officers who are trained in the search for lost persons and the search for evidence, were on scene most of the day searching for evidence of foul play, two police sources confirmed.
Police Chief Jennifer Evans confirmed officers are following up on evidence found at the scene, including pieces of paper with information on it. Police have their Forensic Identification Unit at the scene, and they are working with fire investigators to try to determine the cause.
On Tuesday, the Star reported handwritten notes were found on the street among the debris in front of the destroyed house and were handed off to police. “Dear God, as of next week everything will fall apart for us,” begins one note, whose author is unknown.
Evans told reporters Wednesday morning that police are pursuing “notes” collected near the blast site by passersby as part of the investigation. Whether or not they are related to the cause of the blast is still unknown. “It’s too early to tell,” said Evans.
Police were asking this morning for anyone who has found “suspicious property” to turn it over to police.
Police have not confirmed the “Dear God” letter was one of the notes in their possession.
Colley said police are trying to gather as much information as possible at the blast site.
“As you know, there were lots of damaged homes. Every bit of documentation, everything found in the area, we’re going to treat as serious,” he said.
Officials working on site have deemed that some residents can now return to their homes as the perimeter has been further reduced.
With files from Geoffrey Vendeville, Pam Douglas, Alex Ballingall and Michael Robinson
of the deadly Mississauga explosion Thursday evening, Peel Regional Police identified the body of a dead woman found at the site earlier this week.