Trial date set for suspected murder of former Mercer Islander

The case of former Island native T. Mark Stover, a nationally recognized dog trainer, will go to trial on Sept. 27.

Stover’s mysterious disappearance late last October has baffled family and friends, police and a countless number of case followers.

Last seen on Oct. 27, 2009, Stover was reported missing the following day after he failed to show up for work. Skagit County deputies found traces of Stover’s blood in his car and inside the downstairs bedroom and hallway of the trainer’s Anacortes-area home, according to past Reporter coverage.

Michiel Oakes, a former boyfriend of Stover’s ex-wife Linda Opdyke, was charged with the murder earlier this summer, although Oakes vehemently denies the charge.

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