Toronto police have identified the killer believed to be responsible in the murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop more than 36 years ago.
Police Chief James Ramer says the suspect, Calvin Hoover, died in 2015. A lawyer for Jessop’s family said they learned from police that Hoover died by suicide in 2015.
Ramer says he would have been charged with Jessop’s murder had he been alive, and police are looking for more information on him.
He was known to the Jessop family. Police say Hoover and his wife had a neighbour or acquaintance relationship with the family and had been to their home as well.
Ramer said they were able to identify him using DNA found on Jessop’s clothing and genetic genealogy.
The police chief added they obtained judicial authorization to obtain a DNA sample from his autopsy, back in 2015.
The little girl from Queensville, Ont., was last seen on Oct. 3, 1984. Her body was found over three months later. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered.
Jessop’s murder drew national attention not only for her gruesome death but for the wrongful conviction of her neighbour, Guy Paul Morin.
Morin was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
However, with the advancement of DNA technology, Morin’s conviction was overturned in 1995 based on new evidence.
Morin received $1.25 million from the Ontario government and a public apology after he was acquitted of Jessop’s murder.
In a statement Thursday, Morin said he was relieved for Christine’s family, hoping the announcement would give them some peace of mind after going through a “dreadful ordeal” for 36 years.
“When DNA exonerated me in January, 1995, I was sure that one day DNA would reveal the real killer and now it has,” Morin said.
With files from The Canadian Press