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Supreme relief in the discovery of Christine Jessop’s killer, but questions remain

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All the little lost girls.

Sharin’ Morningstar. Nicole. Alison. Kayla. Andrea. Holly. Tori. Cecilia. Farah. And Christine.

Nicole Morin, still missing after all these years, we’ve watched grow up only in an artist’s rendition: What she might look like now, if still alive. Because you have to hope. You always have to hope. And there have been miracles, if precious few, of a child emerging from the mist of time long past, survivor of unimaginable horrors.

The families of others had their hopes ripped away while still in the stunned immediate agony of a disappearance, within days or weeks.

Little girl bodies desecrated, discovered in a refrigerator, behind a boiler, down a ravine, dumped in the lake, in dense woods, in a park.

Lured away or snatched. For a while there, in the mid-’80s, the abductions came in a cluster.

And each time, the city had been rocked to its soul, in a kind of petrified hush.

Because every lost girl could be anyone’s daughter, sister, granddaughter, neighbour, friend. And an almost shameful relief that it wasn’t your girl.

It was Oct. 3, 1984, when nine-year-old Christine Jessop went missing from her home in rural Queensville, just north of Toronto in York Region. The Grade 4 student was last seen buying bubble gum at the local general store, on her way home from school. Posters of the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl were everywhere. Friends and strangers joined search parties in the wind and rain.

But … nothing.

Not until three months later, New Year’s Eve, when her body was found in a wooded area outside Sunderland, some 55 kilometres from the Jessop residence. The child had been stabbed to death and evidence indicated she’d been sexually assaulted.

Decades of hell since for Christine’s parents, Janet and Robert.

The only suspect brought to justice was himself a victim of injustice.

The wrong and wronged man, Guy Paul Morin.

On Thursday afternoon, 36 years after Christine disappeared, her killer was identified. But there will be no long-belated justice. Calvin Hoover died in 2015.

“If he were alive today, Toronto police would arrest........

© Peterborough Examiner

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