Two new murders solved in Toronto thanks to genetic genealogy

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Two new murders solved in Toronto thanks to genetic genealogy

Joseph George Sutherland has been arrested for the murders of Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour which were committed in 1983.

Erin Gilmour, 22 (left), and Susan Tice, 45, were murdered 4 months apart at their respective homes in 1983 in Toronto.

Genetic genealogy which consists of combining a suspect's DNA and a distant relative's family tree helped identify the suspect in the Susan Tice murders and ;Erin Gilmour, who were assaulted and murdered in Toronto in 1983. Joseph George Sutherland was arrested last week by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Moosonee, in the north of the province.

It took 39 years to identify the suspect Joseph George Sutherland, whose DNA traces had been found on the victims. Sutherland, now 61, wasn't even a person of interest at the time.

Science was not yet advanced enough at the time to achieve this and it would take until the early 1990s for DNA technology to prove itself.

Recent genetic genealogy technology has since enabled indisputable advances in unsolved criminal investigations in Ontario.

The suspect, who is now 61, in his orange prisoner's uniform upon arrest.

The 17 August 1983, a relative of Susan Rice had visited her at her Grace Street home in Toronto when he discovered the 45-year-old woman's body in the upstairs bedroom.

Ms. Rice had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

Four months later, on December 20, 1983, a friend had visited Erin Gilmour's house on Hazelton Avenue to make the same macabre discovery.

The 22-year-old woman had also been assaulted and stabbed multiple times.

Erin Gilmour's brother Sean McCowan spoke to the press about his sister.

Erin Gilmour's brother Sean McCowan was in attendance at the police press conference in Toronto. He said he was very happy with the arrest of the suspect.

It's a day our family has been waiting for almost a lifetime, he said. -he. We now have the name and face of someone who was still just a ghost to us, he adds.

In a way, it's a relief that a suspect has been arrested, but this good news brings to mind memories of Erin and her brutal and senseless murder, acknowledges -il.

Detective Sergeant Steve Smith of the Toronto Police Service Homicide and Missing Persons Squad.

Police at the time offered a $200,000 reward $ to attempt to identify and apprehend a suspect in this case when she realized the murders were committed by the same individual.

She had repeated the experiment in 2016, but to no avail.

Detective Sergeant in charge of the investigation, Steve Smith, claims that Sutherland would never have was found without the use of genetic genealogy.

Joseph George Sutherland is scheduled to appear in the downtown courthouse in early December. He will remain in custody until then in one of the provincial prisons in the metropolis.

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