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Longtime friend of missing Alliston man charged with murder


Provincial police have ruled the death of a missing Alliston man a homicide and charged his longtime friend with murder.

Nottawasaga OPP said officers arrested and charged 25-year-old Gabriel DiCecco following the discovery of William Schernhammer's body on January 21 with indignity to a body and obstructing an officer.

Nearly two weeks later, police have added a first-degree murder charge against DiCecco.

Schernhammer was reported missing on January 12 after his family said he was out with the accused.

Loved ones told CTV News DiCecco alleged the two parted ways at the Albert and Ontario Streets intersection so Schernhammer could walk home.

According to Schernhammer's mother, her son and DiCecco had been friends for 10 years.

Officers said they discovered Schernhammer's body in the area of the 25th Sideroad in Adjala-Tosorontio.

Details surrounding his death have not been released.

A publication ban has been imposed, preventing any evidence heard in court from being released.

A Celebration of Life for William Schernhammer is scheduled next week on what would have been his 25th birthday.

In a statement following news of the murder charge, Schernhammer's mother, Rachelle Schernhammer, wrote in part, "My family can now start to find some peace in this tragedy and can focus on celebrating William's life in the coming days.

We hope that justice is swift and that those responsible for taking William's life are held responsible for their actions."

Meanwhile, DiCecco has been remanded into custody. 

The allegations against him have not been tested in court.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and ask anyone with information to come forward.

"If anyone does have information in relation to this investigation, they can contact the designated tip line at 1-877-225-6273," explained OPP Const. Jacquelyn Beaulieu. Top Stories

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