Charges withdrawn against two women in Meaford, Ont. murder case

It’s been over a year since the lifeless body of Emerson Sprung was found in a Meaford, Ont. cemetery.

“I know we’ll never get our Emerson back, but we have to keep his memory alive and we have to continue to fight for justice,” says his tearful mother, Tracy Sprung.

A day after Emerson’s body was found on May 6, 2020, 35-year-old Matthew McQuarrie was charged with first-degree murder in relation to his death.

Months later, in July 2020, two Meaford women, Laurel Campbell and Taylor Smith were charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

Last week, the charges against Campbell and Smith were withdrawn by the Crown, telling an Owen Sound courtroom, they believed there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction.” Sprung was initially heartbroken by the news.

“It’s a big disappointment. It really is, but I understand the reasons for it, not that I’m happy with that,” says Sprung.

As frustrated as she may be at the withdrawn charges, Sprung is now turning her attention to the first-degree murder trial, expected to begin next year, into her son’s death.

“We’re going to demand justice for Emerson and pray that we get the best outcome that can be,” says Sprung.

She says she appreciates all the support from the detectives and investigators working on her son’s case. Sprung also says she’s getting regular updates from the Crown and is eager to find out exactly what happened to her son the night he went missing.

“I know, truly, I won’t get to grieve until the trial is done, because there are still a lot of unanswered questions,” she says.

Until then, Sprung says she’ll remember Emerson as the music-loving, warm-hearted son, she unfortunately, won’t get to see grow up.