This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
Thirty-six years ago, a nine-year-old Canadian girl, Christine Jessop, was raped and stabbed to death. Now the killer has finally been identified, thanks to genetic genealogy. But while one family’s nightmare has ended, for another family, the nightmare is just beginning.
It was October 3, 1984, and Janet Jessop from Queensville, Ontario, had decided to visit her husband in prison, taking her son Ken with her. But she didn’t want to take her daughter Christine. Christine had a tantrum about it while Janet was on the phone to her friend Heather Hoover.
"She hadn’t seen her father in a month and she was told, 'Christine, you’re too young, you can’t,'" Ken told CTV.
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When Janet and Ken got back home, Christine wasn’t there. She had been planning to meet a friend at a park, but had never turned up.
"I got a little concerned then when you can’t find her anywhere, in the park, along the street," Janet told CTV. "You know there’s something wrong."
The police were called. Christine had been seen buying gum at a local store that day. But after that, no trace of her could be found, despite extensive searches being carried out, using local volunteers.
It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that Christine’s remains were found on a farm, 55km away. There were semen stains found in her underwear.
Her grieving family and friends buried her in the cemetery behind the Jessop house.
"Our little girl was taken from our love and care," the gravestone read.