Durham Regional Police say “a large quantity” of DNA evidence collected at an Oshawa basement apartment, where the remains of a pregnant teen was found last year, fits the profile of another woman who went missing 10 years ago.
Det. Darren Short told reporters during a news conference Tuesday that exhibits collected at the time of the initial search earlier this year matched that of 18-year-old Kandis Fitzpatrick, whose parents reported her missing in 2010.
“Family had reported to police in 2010 concerns of her not having been seen since 2008. She was 18 years old at the time,” Short said.
“We know Kandis has two sisters. We have spoken to those sisters and based on the information they have provided to us, their age at the time when Kandis was reported missing and the fact of Kandis not having been seen since 2008, we strongly believe that the DNA located is that of Kandis Fitzpatrick.”
Police did not reveal where the DNA samples came from, if it was blood or from a body part.
The apartment belonged to 45-year-old Adam Strong, who has been charged with indecent interference to a body in connection with the discovery of 18-year-old Rori Hache’s remains.
A fisherman discovered a torso in Lake Ontario in September 2017 that police linked by DNA testing to the missing teen.
Officers found more of her remains, and a homemade explosive device, in the basement apartment in Oshawa in December. Hache’s family reported her missing in August 2017.
Police have treated Hache’s death as a homicide, though no murder-related charges have been laid yet.
Investigators said they are still taking steps to fully confirm the identity of Fitzpatrick.
“We were advised that the unknown female DNA profile developed in the basement of 19 McMillan Dr. was a match to the daughter of the biological parents of Kandis Fitizpatrick,” Short said.
“We are, however, taking steps to 100 per cent confirm that and eliminate the possibility of anyone being a donor to that DNA profile.”
Police said the DNA of a third woman was also found in the apartment but that person was located alive.
“We were aware at that time of two other missing females in the Oshawa area,” Short said.
“One of the females I was able to locate and spoke with and found her to be safe and fine.”
Investigators have said no further charges have been laid against the accused as of yet, but that police are working meticulously to gather evidence in the case.
“We need the evidence to lay the charge and this will take time. By going through the exhibits and the evidence we’ve collected, the results of that will dictate the further laying of charges,” Short said.
Police said they will continue to search the basement apartment as well as the backyard of the residence for further remains.
Investigators are also looking to speak to people who may have helped Strong in towing his 18-foot boat near any body of water in the Greater Toronto Area.
The accused was known to live in both central Oshawa, Rideau Street and the Nonquon Road area over the past 20 years.
Authorities are also asking anyone who may have known Fitzpatrick, especially her whereabouts following her reported disappearance in 2008, to come forward.
The public is encouraged to call the DRPS Major Crime Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5407/5325 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
— With a file from The Canadian Press
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