News Release

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Woman Identified in 2017 Cold Case,
Humber Bay Shores Park

Unit:


Case #: 2017-1442041

The Toronto Police Service is updating the public on the status of a 2017 cold case investigation to identify a woman found deceased in Lake Ontario.

See excerpt from previous releases: Monday, August, 2017 and Monday, September 11, 2017

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The Toronto Police Service is requesting assistance identifying a woman found in Lake Ontario.

On Thursday, August 10, 2017, at 5:15 p.m., officers responded to a call for an unknown trouble at Humber Bay Shores Park.

The woman is described as white, 55-70, 5'4"-5'6", 135-150 lbs., short grey hair, brown eyes.

She was wearing a red tank top and navy blue pants.

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The woman did not have any identification or possessions with her and a composite image was released.

Attempts were made to identify the missing woman by searching through Canada-wide missing person cases and through public appeals for information, but no match was found.

In January 2023, with the approval of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, the Toronto Police Service began using Investigative Genetic Genealogy for this case. The investigation found distant relatives of the deceased throughout North America, most of whom traced their heritage to a specific region in Switzerland.

In August 2023, members of the Toronto Police Service, with the assistance of the RCMP Liaison Program, reached out to police in Switzerland. Through continued collaboration, the investigation focused on a woman who was reported missing in Switzerland in September 2017.

A DNA comparison between the deceased woman and relatives of the missing person confirmed that the cases were a match. Swiss police notified her family.

As the woman's death is not considered a criminal matter, the woman's identity is not being released.

This case was brought to a successful conclusion by the use of Investigative Genetic Genealogy and through the collaborative efforts of the following agencies:

  • Toronto Police Service
  • Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario
  • Ontario Forensic Pathology Service
  • Centre of Forensic Sciences
  • National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains
  • National DNA Databank
  • RCMP Liaison Program
  • INTERPOL
  • Swiss Federal and Local Police Services

Detective Sergeant Steve Smith of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit, Cold Case and Missing Persons, is available to speak with the media about the case and the connection to DNA testing and genealogical matches.

Please contact Corporate Communications to set up an interview with Detective Sergeant Smith.

 


By Constable Sinderela Chung

Constable Sinderela Chung

Media Relations Officer

Corporate Communications

for Detective Constable Michael Kelly

Detective Constable Michael Kelly

 

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