CALGARY -- A 60-year-old Calgarian has had his manslaughter charge upgraded to first-degree murder in connection with the suspected death of a Chestermere woman who went missing in July.

Vida Smith, 69, was reported missing by family after she failed to return home following an appointment in northeast Calgary on July 21.

Smith's vehicle, a 2002 Nissan Altima, has been recovered but she has not been located.

A police investigation into the disappearance resulted in the arrest of Kevin Barton, a friend of Smith's, on July 30.  Barton was initially charged with manslaughter but the charge was changed to first-degree murder this week.

Investigators believe Barton may have disposed of Smith's body during his travels from Calgary to Edmonton on July 22.

Anyone with information regarding Smith's disappearance is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234, the CPS homicide tip line at 403-428-8877 or anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers.