The man arrested in connection with the disappearance of Hamilton’s Timothy Bosma is the heir to an Ontario aviation dynasty and once held the world record for the youngest solo helicopter flight.
Dellen Millard, 27, of Toronto, was arrested and charged in Mississauga in connection with Bosma’s disappearance Saturday morning. His family founded and ran Millard Air, a charter airline that once flew out of Toronto and has operations in Waterloo Region, where Hamilton police were seen investigating Saturday at Millard Air’s hangar at the airport.
Bosma disappeared in Hamilton Monday when he took two men for a test drive of a pickup truck he was trying to sell online. Police have since been searching for two suspects, one of whom was described as having a tattoo on his wrist that reads “ambition.”
Millard, who police believe was driving the pickup truck during the incident, has such a tattoo, police said. Millard was arrested on Cawthra Rd. in Mississauga Saturday morning without incident. He was charged with forcible confinement and theft over $5,000.
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“Tim Bosma has not been located and our greatest priority is the welfare and locating of (him),” Hamilton Police Supt. Dan Kinsella said during a media briefing Saturday afternoon.
The remaining suspect is still at large. Police in three cities — Toronto, Waterloo and Hamilton — are participating in the investigation.
Toronto police blocked off Maple Gate Crt. in Etobicoke Saturday afternoon to investigate a house connected to the arrest of Millard. Hamilton police were seen at Millard Air Hangar 53 at the Waterloo Regional Airport the same day.
The Millard family has a storied history in Ontario’s aviation industry. Dellen’s grandfather, Carl, founded the private commercial airline, the Star reported in 1999.
Wayne Millard, Dellen’s father, took the reins on a 50,000-square-foot aircraft maintenance facility in Waterloo, according to Canadian Skies, an aviation trade publication.
Wayne died in late 2012. His obituary, published in the Star, was written by Dellen and praises Wayne’s love for animals and commitment to flying.
In 1999, Dellen became the youngest person to fly a helicopter solo at 14 years old, setting a world record and earning a free breakfast from the Brampton Flying Club. He set another record by taking his first solo flight in a Cessna 172, making him the youngest to fly both a helicopter and fixed-wing plane solo in one day.
“It was a great flight,” he told the Star then, moments after landing the Cessna and receiving applause from family members. “It went by a lot faster than I thought it would.”
The Brampton Flying Club refused to comment Saturday, telling the Star a manager would be available Monday.
“I really thought he turned out fine and I’d see him someday at an airline,” said Marilyn Daigle, Dellen’s flight instructor in 1999, who’s now a commercial pilot in Toronto. “He was sweet, smart, really lovely to teach . . . I just hope it doesn’t end up being true.”
Dellen Millard’s passion for planes seems to have been grounded later in life, as he turned his attention towards automobiles. He and a friend are listed as drivers in the 2009 Baja 1000, an off-road race in Mexico, according to the race roster.
Facebook photos of Dellen posted on the friend’s account show him working on vehicles in what appears to be an airport hangar. Calls to the friend’s home were not returned.
The other suspect, still at large, is described as white, between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-10, with a small to medium build, dark hair. He was last seen wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head.
“It is critical that we inform you of (Dellen Millard’s) arrest, however it is much more important that we continue to pursue every evidentiary lead,” Kinsella said Saturday.
On Friday, police announced they recovered Bosma’s cellphone in an industrial complex in Brantford, which is the direction he was last believed to be heading with the men.
Police believe his vehicle was in the area of downtown Brantford around 10:10 p.m. Monday, May 6. They are asking business owners with surveillance cameras to review their footage between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. that day.
Bosma’s Dodge Ram, which has not been recovered, is described as black with an Ontario licence plate number 726 7ZW.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Hamilton police’s dedicated tip line at 905-546-2100.
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