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Jessop family, legal group calls for review of Jessop investigation by Durham and Toronto police

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 11:42 pm EST

Christine Jessop, 9, went missing on Oct. 3, 1984. Her body was found three months later.

Family members are now joining a legal advocacy group, calling for an independent review of the police investigations into the murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop.

Innocence Canada says Durham Regional Police and Toronto Police Service have to be held accountable now that a suspect has been named as Christine’s killer.

The mother and the brother of the victim have now added their voices to the charge.

Janet and Kenneth Jessop say authorities must account for how Hoover, a family friend who took part in searches for Christine in 1984 and attended her funeral and wake, wasn’t initially investigated.

Toronto police Chief James Ramer said on Oct. 15 that DNA evidence indicated Calvin Hoover, then 28, had sexually assaulted Jessop in 1984 and he would have been charged with her murder if he were alive.

In a statement sent to Innocence Canada, Kenneth Jessop says the break in the case family hasn’t given the family any closure.

“The last 36 years have been a nightmare of trails and appeals and blindsides that have almost destroyed my mother and I. Our prayers were answered on Oct. 15, 2020. But the answer was not justice. It was a kick in the teeth. With that answer came a million questions,” read the statement.

Innocence Canada, which advocates for the wrongly convicted, says invaluable lessons can and must be learned from this 36-year “debacle.”

The group says it hopes a review would provide guidance to future investigations and underline the importance of rigorously sticking to elementary, methodical investigative steps.

In 1985, police arrested and charged Guy Paul Morin, Jessop’s then-24-year-old neighbour.

“As we continue to move forward with this case we understand the position put forth by Innocence Canada,” Toronto police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said in a statement. “Should an independent third party review of the original TPS investigation be ordered, we will cooperate to the fullest extent the law allows. In the meantime, we will continue to actively investigate this case.”

With a file from News Staff