Toronto Police announced today that they have solved the cold-case 1984 murder of Christine Jessop using advanced DNA techniques. DNA has helped to solve the 1984 murder of Christine Jessop, however, the suspect is now dead. Toronto Police Chief James Ramer identified Calvin Hoover as Jessop’s murderer. He was 28 at the time of the case and he died in 2015.
The chief said Ramer was identified through a DNA sample that was found on the child’s underwear. That same sample was used to exonerate Guy Paul Morin who was originally accused of the crime and who served 18 months in prison after going through a trial and appeals. Jessop was abducted after leaving her home in Queensville on Oct. 3, 1984. The child’s body was discovered nearly three months later, on Dec. 31, in a wooded area in Sutherland. Guy Paul Morin, who was Jessop’s neighbour, was arrested and wrongfully convicted of her murder. In 1984 DNA evidence was in its infancy. He was later acquitted after new DNA evidence emerged excusing him as the killer.
Chief Ramer said a DNA sample found on Christine’s underwear was identified on Oct. 9 as belonging to Hoover. Kenney Jessop, Christine’s brother, told Global News the suspect died by suicide a few years ago and was a friend of the family. The killer’s wife was their father’s co-worker, Kenney said.
The nine-year-old went missing on Oct. 3, 1984 in Queensville, Ont., and her remains were found three months later on New Year’s Eve in a rural part of Durham Region.The little girl had been raped and murdered.
Police said Jessop had plans to meet up with a friend that evening at a nearby park but that she never showed up. She was last seen buying a pack of gum at a local convenience store, close to her home.
The DNA technique that identified the killer is referred to as genetic genealogy. The DNA sample found on the girls clothing was sent to a lab in the US that specialized in this form of tracing and they cam e back with two possible family trees. Hoover’s name was on one of them. Police then asked the Centre for Forensic Science to investigate and it turned out they had a blood sample from Hoover, who had a criminal record. The two DNA samples matched and Hoover was positively identified.
Chief Ramer talked about the role science is playing in crime investigation.