To mark the 29th anniversary of the disappearance of Nicole Morin, Toronto Police has launched a social media campaign with the release of Twitter and Facebook sites dedicated to helping find her.
Morin vanished without a trace from her Etobicoke condominium on July 30, 1985, sparking one of the largest investigations in Toronto Police history.
The young girl took the elevator to meet a friend in the lobby. They were supposed to go swimming, but Morin never made it to the lobby.
Over 15,000 hours were put into the investigation between the date of her abduction and January of the following year. Nearly 9,000 community members took part in the search for Morin that involved the creation of a 20-member task force in 1985.
The task force conducted a co-ordinated search in Etobicoke, using cars, horses, aircraft, dogs and all-terrain vehicles. Despite their best efforts, no trace of Morin has ever been found.
Crime Stoppers created a one-minute re-enactment that was released at a press conference at police headquarters on July 30.
We actually had quite a few residents come out and tell us they lived in the building at the time Nicole was abducted and that they remember that day. They sort of reminisced with us and it still haunts a lot of people that live there.
I am asking that members of the public watch the video and I am asking that the assembled media today assist us in making that video available to them,” said Toronto Crime Stoppers program coordinator Chris Scherk. “It’s only one minute long…There are a number of ways historical crimes are solved. Witnesses may remember something they saw that can assist investigators and criminals talk, brag and confess. My belief is that there is someone out there who 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…Watch the video, make the call and help us find Nicole.”
The investigators working on the case went back to the crime scene at 627 The West Mall, a week ago, to film the re-enactment video.
“While we were there, we did have a lot of props like the older police cars and that did draw a lot of attention from the building itself,” said Detective Kim Litster-Macleod of the Homicide Unit. “We actually had quite a few residents come out and tell us they lived in the building at the time Nicole was abducted and that they remember that day. They sort of reminisced with us and it still haunts a lot of people that live there.”
Detective Sergeant Madelaine Tretter of 22 Division is assigned to Morin’s case.
“We are using methods that we have available to us now that weren’t available to us in 1985 such as social media campaigns and we are hoping that, by reaching out, we will get a broader spectrum of the public and somebody who has that information will feel comfortable now in coming forward and providing us with that information,” she said.
Tretter said a number of people have been investigated since Morin’s disappearance and police continue to receive leads, including some this year.
“We have never lost hope that we will find Nicole and it’s our hope that we’ll find her alive one day,” she added. “…It’s my hope that she’s alive. We have certainly seen cases in the United States where people have been missing for a number of years and they have been found alive. We are not prepared to give up that hope that one day we will find Nicole alive…But we do hope that, at the very minimum, we will find information as to what happened that day.”
Morin’s mother, who was operating a daycare in her home at the time, has passed away, while her 75-year-old father, Art Morin, is hopeful his daughter can be found alive.
“We are in constant communication with him,” said Tretter. “He’s very grateful for all the efforts from the public, the media and Toronto Police Service throughout the years to try and find his daughter.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (416) 808-2200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.