Thu. May 26th, 2022

Nearly 40 years after the daughter of a wealthy businessman in Toronto was brutally murdered, police say they have narrowed her killer down to a member of a family tree and are close to knowing who did it.

Erin Gilmour, daughter of mining magnate David Gilmour, was 22 years old when she was stabbed, strangled and sexually assaulted on the night of December 20, 1983, in her Yorkville apartment.

She lived alone above the store she had worked at on Hazelton Avenue. Her boyfriend would make the gruesome discovery around 9:20 p.m.

Four months earlier and less than three miles away, 45-year-old Susan Tice was found stabbed to death after being sexually assaulted at her home in Bickford Park on Grace Street.

Hazleton Ave.

Despite the closeness between the two murders and the similar circumstances in which the victims were found, it would take another 17 years before the two crimes were linked to DNA evidence.

Now, 38 years after the killings took place, and thanks to the detective work of the following decades, police say they are closer than ever to catching the man responsible.

“We are on the right track,” it said. Sgt. Stephen Smith told CTV News Toronto on Thursday. “We are very close to being able to narrow it down further where we can get to the point where we can identify the perpetrator.”

Susan Tice (Susan Tice is seen in this undated photo. Source: Toronto Police Service)

Based on genetic genealogy and pedigree sites, Smith, who heads the Toronto Police’s Cold Case and Missing Persons division, says he and his team have identified a family unit of interest that includes all male relatives, including cousins, brothers, fathers and sons.

“We are not talking 3,000, 5,000 people, but we are talking about a family unit where there are still a number of people involved,” Smith said, adding that he and his team are eager to see more DNA tests processed before they narrow down. their search even more.

‘It’s one from a small town in Canada’

Smith remained tight on details, saying the suspect is a man from a “small town in Canada” and that he was in Toronto at the time of the murders.

He revealed that the killer is part of a “very large” family unit.

A number of these family members also lived or visited Toronto at the time of the murders.

“We believe that at least a number of family members still live and work in small towns across Canada,” Smith said.

Scene(A Toronto police officer investigates the scene of Erin Gilmour’s murder. Source: CTV News Toronto)

But it is unclear whether the killer himself is alive today.

According to Smith, the odds of that are “50/50.” Nevertheless, he says he hopes to make an arrest over the next “six to eight months.”

Smith revealed no details about the family unit he is investigating.

There are also questions about whether the suspect knew his victims and what other murders he may have committed. Smith said, however, that work can only begin after he is identified.

Meanwhile, and since the total number of Toronto cold cases is close to 700, Smith says the driving force behind identifying the killer in any cold case investigation is simple: closure.

“Most of the motivation comes from the family members. We talk to the family members in, I would say, at least 100, maybe more, of our murders every week or every week,” Smith said.

“The drive of family members to get closure, not necessarily to find out why their loved one was killed, but who killed them, it gives us motivation to keep them at the top of our minds.”

Smith said he and his team want “nothing more” than to bring that peace of mind to all 700 families and answer the questions that have hung in the absence of their loved ones.

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