CBC News Online | June 20, 2003
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
Police release photos of Holly, hoping they might trigger
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.
Jones looks up at the sky outside St. Vincent de Paul
Church (CP PHOTO)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
"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
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
Name: Michael Briere
Arrested: June 20, 2003
Charged: First-degree murder in abduction
and killing of Holly Jones
Residence: Toronto, within blocks of
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
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