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Genealogy leads to Canada arrest in 1983 murders

November 29, 2022

OTTAWA: Genealogical testing has led to an arrest in the 1983 murders of two women in Toronto, one of whom was the daughter of a founder of gold mining giant Barrick Gold, police said on Monday.

Erin Gilmour, 22, and Susan Tice, 45, were found stabbed to death four months apart in late 1983 in their respective bedrooms after having been sexually assaulted. Joseph George Sutherland was taken into custody at his home in Moosonee, Ontario last week and charged with two counts of first degree murder after police connected him to the crime scene via genealogical investigation using DNA.

Gilmour was an aspiring fashion designer and the daughter of David Gilmour, who co-founded Barrick, which was the world´s biggest gold mining company before it was overtaken in 2019 by rival Newmont.

Tice was a family therapist and a mother of four. The two women lived just a few kilometers apart in downtown Toronto but did not know each other, according to police. “The only way that this (case) was solved was advances in science,” Toronto police detective Steve Smith told a news conference. He said police in 2000 had linked the two murders through the suspect´s DNA left at the scene.