Toronto police are in Springwater Township today, conducting a groundsearch for clues that might link a 29-year-old OPP tip in the area to the 1985 disappearance of eight-year-old Nicole Morin of Etobicoke.
“Basically, the OPP received some information approximately 29 years ago to a location near their Springwater detachment. They responded to the call, and acting on the information they had at that time, cleared it,” said Det. Sgt. Madelaine Tretter of 22 Division, who declined to comment on the nature of that original report.
“We recently received some information from a citizen asking us to take another look at it, so we’ve met with OPP and asked them to take another look and do a search of the area, which they’ve agreed to do.”
A Toronto police search team was sent up earlier in the day to aid in that search, which is reportedly taking place along Horseshoe Valley Road in Springwater Township, about 20 kilometres north of Barrie.
“We went up to assist, only because of our interest in a missing person who went missing around the same time,” Tretter said, noting that police aren’t yet sure whether there’s any connection between Morin’s case and that 29-year-old tip.
“We don’t know if there’s a link, other than it was received the same time of year, in the same year (Morin went missing). That’s the only link we have.”
“We’re looking for any clues to go on that would establish any link at all to our missing person case,” she added.
At the scene, Toronto Police Detective Const Kim Litster-MacLeod, one of the lead investigators said, “We are searching a fairly large area, around 100 acres, We will do as much as we can today, but may have to return tomorrow.”
Morin was last seen leaving her family’s apartment unit at 627 The West Mall on the morning of Tuesday, July 30, 1985.
She said goodbye to her mother at around 11 a.m. on her way down to the building’s lobby to meet a friend, and from there the pair was supposed to head to the outdoor pool for a morning of swimming – but Nicole never arrived.
Police believe Morin was abducted on her way to the meeting, and she hasn’t been seen since.
Back in July, on the 29th anniversary of her disappearance, Toronto police launched the #FindNicole social media campaign in an effort to drum up new lead’s in the Morin case.
At the time, Toronto Crime Stoppers Coordinator Chris Scherk said there are a number of avenues investigators can and do explore when it comes to solving historical cases such as Morin’s.
“There’s a number of ways historical crime is solved. Witnesses may remember something they saw that can assist investigators, but also, criminals talk. They brag and they confess,” he said back in July. “So my belief is that someone out there may know what happened to Nicole Morin in 1985 and for whatever reason feels like they can’t come forward. With Crime Stoppers, you can.”
Anyone with information about Morin’s disappearance is asked to contact police at 416-808-2200, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).
- with file from Stan Howe, Metroland Media