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HomeNewsToronto police cost man in 1983 killings of two girls

Toronto police cost man in 1983 killings of two girls



TORONTO — A 61-year-old man has been charged within the chilly case killings of two girls who had been discovered useless of their Toronto properties inside months of one another virtually 4 many years in the past, police mentioned Monday.

Police Chief James Ramer mentioned Joseph George Sutherland, of Moosonee, Ontario, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree homicide within the killings of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice in 1983.

Each girls had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to loss of life, Ramer mentioned. Though their our bodies had been found 4 months aside, detectives linked the deaths utilizing DNA know-how in 2000, and investigators suspected the identical man in each instances, he mentioned.

Police mentioned Gilmour was a 22-year-old aspiring clothier and Tice was a 45-year-old mom of 4 who held a grasp’s diploma in social work and labored with deprived youngsters.

“It is a day that I and we’ve been ready virtually a whole lifetime for,” mentioned Sean McCowan, Erin’s brother.

“It lastly places a reputation and a face to somebody who for all of us had been a ghost.”

In 2019, genetic samples within the case had been despatched to a lab in Texas, the place the outcomes had been cross-referenced with samples uploaded to Household Tree DNA, a Houston-based industrial genetic testing firm, police mentioned.

From there, detectives labored backwards, constructing a household tree of the suspect’s nearest widespread kin, mentioned Det. Sgt. Steve Smith. As they closed in on Sutherland, police served him with a warrant for his DNA to check immediately towards the samples recovered from the crime scenes.

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Smith mentioned the identical lab had helped police in a special case, analyzing DNA samples to determine the person who seemingly killed 9-year-old Christine Jessop in 1984. Police mentioned they’d have charged that man with homicide, however a lawyer for the Jessop household mentioned he died by suicide in 2015.

Smith mentioned Sutherland had not beforehand been a suspect or particular person of curiosity within the deaths of Gilmour and Tice, and that police wouldn’t have related him with out the DNA know-how.

Toronto police mentioned they’ll now examine whether or not Sutherland is related to some other unsolved instances from the previous 39 years. Detectives are additionally reaching out to police companies throughout the province the place the person may need lived or visited, Smith mentioned.

Officers with the Ontario Provincial Police arrested Sutherland with out incident on Thursday in Moosonee. He’s subsequent set to seem in courtroom on Dec. 9.

Smith mentioned Sutherland was dwelling in Toronto on the time of the deaths. He mentioned there’s a publication ban on the case and declined to launch extra particulars.



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