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Preliminary hearing underway for two accused in 2020 Nipigon kidnapping and assault

Jayson Lawson-Balodis and Harold Sault were among four charged in connection to a 2020 kidnapping and assault of a male victim in Nipigon that is related to the case of Alyssa Turnbull’s disappearance earlier that year
Alyssa Turnbull two
Alyssa Turnbull was last seen in April 2020 in the Nipigon area. The kidnapping and assault that took place in Nipigon involving the two accused is believed to be related to Turnbull's disappearance. (File).

THUNDER BAY — A judge will determine if there is enough evidence to commit two men who are accused in a Nipigon kidnapping and assault that is related to the case of Alyssa Turnbull’s disappearance to stand trial.

A preliminary hearing is underway for Jayson Lawson-Balodis and Harold Sault. Both men were previously charged in September 2020 with several firearm related offences as well as kidnapping and aggravated assault against a male victim.

The hearing, which is expected to take one or two days, first opened in December 2022 and resumed in a Thunder Bay courtroom on Tuesday.

Preliminary hearings are part of the judicial process and are used to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial before a judge or jury. There is a publication ban on all evidence presented during a preliminary hearing.

Billy Thompson and Andrew Otway were also charged in connection to the incident. The charges against Thompson still remain before the courts.

Otway is the brother of Alyssa Turnbull, who has been missing since April 2020, and Lawson-Balodis’ nephew. In November 2021, Otway pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to six years in custody minus time served.

Ontario Provincial Police have since made two arrests in connection to Turnbull’s disappearance. Brian Soos and his son Nicholas Soos were arrested in June 2022 and charged with committing an indignity to human remains and obstruction of justice.

Foul play is suspected in Turnbull’s disappearance, but she has still not been located. A spokesperson with the OPP said last summer that without a body, Turnbull is still considered a missing person and the investigation remains ongoing.

A $50,000 reward is still being offered for any information that results in the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in Turnbull’s disappearance or aids police in locating her.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or their local police service. Police will follow up on any information provided, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at

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