Holly Jones timeline

CBC News Online | June 20, 2003

Holly Jones


May 12

Ten-year-old Holly Jones disappears after walking her friend home in her Toronto neighbourhood.


Within hours of her disappearance, police launch a massive search and issue an "Amber Alert," a quick-response strategy used when a child's kidnapping is suspected.


May 13

Holly's parents Maria Jones and George Stonehouse appeal to the public for her safe return.


Body parts are found in two bags off the shores of Toronto Island.


Hours later, police say "the search for Holly Jones is now a search for her killer," after they confirm the remains found in the bag are Holly's.


The bags are cited as key evidence in the case.


Police photo of Michael Briere

May 14

Police divers continue to scour the waterfront for any evidence.


Investigators release posters of the two bags and dumbbells that were recovered from Lake Ontario.


A makeshift memorial of flowers, cards and gifts springs up on the Jones's front lawn and sidewalk.


May 15

Police launch a search for the clothes Holly was wearing the night she was abducted. They say they are "one phone call away" from apprehending the killer or killers.


May 16

Police appeal to the public for help in identifying two men who were on board ferries bound for Toronto Island, where some of Holly's remains were found. One of the men comes forward and is cleared.


Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino visits Holly's parents at their home, offering his sympathy, and reiterating a pledge to catch the girl's killer.


Investigators display approximation of Holly Jones's clothes

Toronto police Staff Insp. Gary Ellis says detectives are closing in on the killer. "This killer, their plan has gone terribly awry," Ellis says. "They thought they had committed the perfect crime, they thought they had done a textbook case and what they've done is provide us with a substantial amount of evidence."


May 18

Police release photos of Holly, hoping they might trigger someone's memory.


May 19

Toronto police say their hotline has received more than 1,650 phone calls tips, and continue pleading for the public's assistance in providing any information.

Maria Jones looks up at the sky outside St. Vincent de Paul Church (CP PHOTO)


May 20

Dignitaries and hundreds of mourners attend Holly's funeral at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church. The mourners included Ontario Premier Ernie Eves, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and police Chief Julian Fantino.


May 21

Police intensify search, sifting through hundreds of bags of garbage in the hopes of turning up additional evidence in the case. They start collecting DNA samples from residents of Holly's neighbourhood.


June 2

A man is seen leading a young boy out of a grocery store in Holly's neighbourhood. The man runs off without the boy when his mother screams.


June 5

Police release a computer-generated picture of Holly depicting her with the clothing she was wearing when she disappeared. Police suggest the killer may live in the neighbourhood.


June 9

West-end residents start patrolling their streets after another attempted child abduction. This time, a man grabbed an eight-year-old girl's wrist as she was walking along the street with her mother.


June 10

Holly's old school steps up its security after more attempted abductions in the area are reported. The school's principal brings in social workers for students who are anxious about the increased police presence in the neighbourhood.


June 14

Ontario says it will give Toronto police an extra $700,000 to monitor sex offenders. Security Minister Bob Runciman says Holly's murder was the catalyst for the additional resources.


June 20

Police arrest Michael Briere, 35, a software developer at a west-end address near Holly's home. He's charged with first-degree murder and is scheduled to appear in court later that day or the next.



  Police lay murder charge in Holly Jones case

 Sat, 21 Jun 2003 



TORONTO - Police in Toronto on Friday arrested a 35-year-old man and charged him in connection with the killing of 10-year-old Holly Jones.



Police Chief Julian Fantino told a news conference that Michael Briere, 35, has been charged with first-degree murder.


He will appear in court Saturday morning.


"Hopefully this arrest will bring some closure to Holly's family, friends and the community as a whole," he said.


Briere, a software developer, was picked up by police early Friday outside a home in Holly's west-end neighbourhood. He is now in custody at a Toronto police station.


He has an apartment within a few blocks of Holly's house.


Police aren't releasing a photo of the suspect, and Fantino asked the media not to publish any images of him that they get hold of on their own. He said the investigation is ongoing, and investigators are still hoping the public can provide more information about him.


Staff Insp. Bruce Smollet, who has been one of the leading officers in the investigation, went to the home of Holly's parents at about 9 a.m. Friday.


Holly was abducted in broad daylight on May 12 within blocks of her home.


Police say Briere lives along the path the 10-year-old likely took as she walked home from a friend's house.



Name: Michael Briere

Age: 35

Arrested: June 20, 2003

Charged: First-degree murder in abduction and killing of Holly Jones

Residence: Toronto, within blocks of Holly's home

Occupation: Software developer, employed by MDS Laboratories in Toronto

Police Chief Julian Fantino says a picture and more details about Briere will be made available in the next few days.

The next day, her remains were found in two locations on the city's waterfront.


Police have said all along they had strong evidence they believed would lead them to the killer. They have repeatedly swept the neighbourhood and sought the public's help in their search.


A task force was struck to chase down the killer, and Fantino said at any given time 300 people were working on the case.


"By all accounts, this investigation marks in many ways the benchmark of excellence," he said.


Fantino refused to discuss with reporters many aspects of the investigation, including requests for DNA samples.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Pedophile says he's sorry to Holly's Mom

TORONTO - A beleaguered Mississauga real estate agent, who befriended Holly Jones' mother before pleading guilty to child porn possession, said yesterday he is sorry for causing people pain.    Jan. 16, 2005

  10 years later
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