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Vancouver case linked to Toronto case decades later

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There has been a breakthrough in a Vancouver cold case dating back nearly three decades.

Investigators in Toronto have linked DNA from a case there to a violent sex assault here.

The first assault was in 1985 on West Pender Street. A 34-year-old woman was walking towards her car in an underground parking lot. She was jumped from behind and sexually assaulted in a stairwell nearby.

Fast-forward to 1992, and a 21-year-old woman is attacked two blocks from her home in Toronto.

VPD Constable Brian Montague says they’re speaking to the local victim, but they’re not releasing any more details about her case.

“Our investigators are speaking to their investigators, we’re obviously sharing information. But they are two separate investigations and I think that’s what people have to remember. While it is the same person who has committed them, the investigations are separate.”

He adds there are definite challenges to solving a case like this.

“If we can link that DNA then it will be easy for us to confirm the identity [of the suspect], but unfortunately we don’t have that sample right now. The suspect may be living anywhere in Canada. He may be living outside the country. He may even be deceased for all we know.”

Toronto Police have released a composite sketch and are offering a $50,000 reward.

Investigators from both forces are asking anyone with more information to give them a call. “The key is for someone who not only do they know someone who may resemble the photo but that lived in the Vancouver area in the 1980s and in the Toronto-area in the 1990s,” explains Montague.