Decades-Old DNA Evidence Solves 1972 Murder of Toronto Teen

Yvonne Leroux

After nearly 51 years, York Regional Police have identified the suspect in the 1972 murder of Yvonne Leroux, a 16-year-old from North York, using decades-old DNA evidence. The suspect, Bruce Charles Cantelon, was found to be responsible for the death of Leroux, whose body was discovered in the Township of King with blunt force trauma to the head.

Cantelon, who died by suicide in 1974, was identified through investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) technology, which analyzed DNA evidence preserved from the crime scene. This technology allowed investigators to generate a DNA profile that was then compared to public genealogical databases.

The police investigation, which had remained unsolved for years despite various efforts, including a $50,000 reward, finally saw a breakthrough with the application of IGG. The DNA profile led detectives to Cantelon’s relatives and ultimately to Cantelon himself. At the time of Leroux’s murder, Cantelon was 26 and had a history of violent offenses against women.

Despite the identification of the suspect, police say there is no known connection between Leroux and Cantelon, and the motive for the murder remains unclear. The murder weapon was never found.

The resolution of the case provides an answer to a long-standing mystery, demonstrating the effectiveness of modern DNA analysis in cold case investigations. This development marks a significant achievement for law enforcement in utilizing new technologies to bring clarity to unresolved cases.

Lou Nightingale
Author: Lou Nightingale

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