A homicide case that stretches decades and cities has had a major development.

Police have charged a father and son in connection to the death of Ashley Max Domenic Pereira of Mississauga.

Pereira left his home by his own will after an incident back in 2002. His family didn't report him missing until 2014.

Five years later, in May of this year, his remains were found in a refrigerator near Port Burwell.

The charges are levelled against Sam Waters, 22, and his father, Chad Reu-Waters, 47. Sam Waters was charged with indignity to a dead body days after the remains were found.

On Monday, his father Chad was charged with the same offence, as well as first-degree murder.

Police laid the charges after human remains were found, shaking the Port Burwell community.

"It was unsettling, not knowing who the victim was, and whether the perpetrator was someone local," says Port Burwell resident Kerrie Kipp.

The Waters are from the small town of Jarvis in Haldimand County, about an hour east of Port Burwell.

CTV News has learned the pair run a hobby shop along the main strip.

Jarvis resident Al Brookhouse calls the town "fairly quiet."

Police aren't sure why Pereira's family didn't report him missing sooner. It's also not yet clear how Pereira and the accused knew each other.

Detectives say the investigation is challenging because of the time that passed between the discovery of the body and Pereira's disappearance.

Reu-Waters appeared in court on Tuesday in St. Thomas.

Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that the accused were from Norfolk County. In fact, Jarvis is a town located in neighbouring Haldimand County.