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Tracing a First Nations family tree helped catch a killer – APTN News

Oct 24, 2023

A guilty plea from George Sutherland on Oct. 5 closed a 39-year-old cold case

Warning: This story contains disturbing information.

When her smartphone’s call display showed Police-Homicide, Jackie Hookimaw Witt got scared. It was during the pandemic and she was living with a relative while locked down in Toronto.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God. Why am I getting a phone call?’ I said, ‘Is this a scam?’”

After verifying the detective’s identity, Hookimaw Witt learned Toronto Police and Ontario Provincial Police were trying to trace suspects in two historical murders who had connections to her home First Nation of Attawapiskat.

Susan Tice, 22, and Erin Gilmour, 45, were sexually assaulted and stabbed to death after separate home invasions in 1983.

The women were not known to each other or the killer, said police, and were murdered four months apart.

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