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New reconstruction may help solve 30-year-old murder

Putting a new face to an old case may help Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigators finally discover the identity of a murder victim discovered in Stone Mills Township in 1989.

A new information poster regarding Napanee John Doe provided by OPP.

At a virtual media conference today, the OPP, in partnership with the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and the Office of the Chief Coroner, unveiled a three-dimensional model of what is believed to be a 35- to 55-year-old male. Police hope the reconstruction will prompt the public, family, friends, or co-workers from that time to provide new information to help identify the individual and bring resolution to their family and friends.

Known colloquially as “Napanee John Doe” since his body was discovered, mouth gagged and hands bound, on October 21, 1989, the man was discovered in the north ditch of County Road 14 in Stone Mills Township, three kilometres east of the village of Enterprise.

At the time of his discovery, the man was wearing an ‘evil eye’ pendant attached to a gold chain by a safety pin. His clothes were a white, short-sleeved Pierre Cardin dress shirt; a red and blue fine-striped heavy pullover; a Hunt Club sweater with a red, black, and grey diamond pattern, size medium; grey socks with blue and red stripes; and black loafer-style shoes, size 8 ½.

Forensic anthropological analysis of the remains suggests that this is a South Asian male. He had black hair and was balding on top with very little hair around the temples. 

It was estimated that the body was in the ditch for approximately two weeks, during which time the man’s facial features decomposed, making it difficult to determine age or nationality. Thus, the original composite sketch of the victim released at that time was rudimentary and not very lifelike.  All investigative efforts to date have not yet been able to identify this victim.

Since the arrest of serial killer Bruce McArthur, there has been renewed interest in missing persons and unidentified remains that match McArthur’s preferred victim profile. Detective Inspector Serge Acay, Major Case Manager of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch, confirmed that this is indeed the catalyst for the renewed interest in the case of this victim.

Deputy Commissioner Chuck Cox, Provincial Commander of the OPP Investigations and Organized Crime Branch, was joined by Detective Inspector Acay at the Thursday, Mar. 2022 virtual press conference to release the new 3-D facial approximation of the man with hopes of re-invigorating the investigation into this violent crime.

The new facial approximation was created by OPP Forensic Artist, Detective Constable Duncan Way.

Images via OPP.

Anyone with new information on the case can call a dedicated missing persons hotline toll-free at 1-877-934-6363 (1-877-9-FINDME) in Canada only or 1-705-330-4144 from outside Canada. Information can also be submitted by e-mail at [email protected]

The Province of Ontario is offering a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of this unidentified victim.

This is a developing story with more in-depth coverage to come, including interviews with lead investigators.

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2 thoughts on “New reconstruction may help solve 30-year-old murder

  • April 1, 2022 at 9:26 am
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    Is the date wrong on the poster or is it really a year old?

    • April 4, 2022 at 2:30 pm
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      Hi Elizabeth,
      We have inquired with the OPP as to why the poster is dated for March 2021, however, the person responsible for media communications on this matter is currently away. We suspect it is simply a typo, but will update when we hear back from the OPP. -Tori Stafford

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