The York Regional Police Cold Case Unit is pleased to advise that investigators have solved the 51-year-old homicide of 16-year-old Yvonne Leroux.
Yvonne Leroux was last seen alive at 10 p.m. on November 29, 1972, walking in the area of Oakdale Road and Finch Avenue West, in the City of Toronto. The next morning, a passer-by discovered her body in the middle of 16th Sideroad, between Jane Street and Keele Street, in the Township of King, 24 kilometres north of where she was last seen.
Yvonne had sustained blunt force trauma to the head and her death was deemed as a homicide. Despite the efforts of dozens of investigators over the years, multiple appeals to the public by police on behalf of her family and a $50,000 reward issued twice by the York Regional Police Services Board, her killer was never found.
York Regional Police, along with many other law enforcement agencies across North America, has adopted technological advancements such as Investigative Genetic Genealogy, or IGG. IGG data is being used now as an investigative tool, to identify suspect DNA left at a crime scene when other investigative leads have been exhausted. In criminal investigations it can identify relatives of the source of the crime-scene DNA, as a means to then identify the suspect.
Having exhausted all traditional investigative means in this case, in 2022, investigators turned to IGG to assist with the investigation into Yvonne’s murder. Using suspect DNA found at the crime scene, which thankfully was secured at the time and preserved for more than 50 years, a DNA profile was generated and then uploaded to public genealogical databases.
Through resulting information, along with an exhaustive review of public and archival records and evidence gathered through traditional police techniques, investigators were able to identify relatives of the suspect and eventually the offender himself: Bruce Charles Cantelon.
Cantelon was a 26-year-old who was living in Toronto at the time and known to police, having committed several violent offences against women. He was incarcerated at various times in his life due to mental health issues. In 1974, 19 months after the murder, Bruce Cantelon committed suicide in Toronto. If he was alive today, he would be facing a charge of Murder.
YRP owes its gratitude to the Leroux family for its ongoing support in very difficult circumstances.
In addition, investigators could not have achieved this result without the help of law enforcement partners, especially the Toronto Police Cold Case Unit. Thanks as well to the Centre of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ministry of the Attorney General, for its legal guidance. Thanks also for the diligence and dedication of dozens of investigators over the years.
Now that this information has been released, if anyone has any information about this case or any other cold case, please reach out. Our Cold Case Unit investigators are always available at 1-866-876-5423.