MONTREAL — Police in Montreal announced Wednesday that they have found the remains of Jolene Riendeau, a 10-year-old girl who went missing in April 1999.
Police Sgt. Ian Lafreniere refused to say where the remains were found or under what circumstances, citing the ongoing investigation to locate a suspect in the case.
"Sadly, what we can say is that it was definitely a homicide," Lafreniere said.
The disappearance of Jolene terrified her Point St. Charles neighbourhood in Montreal and elicited an unprecedented response from police, community organizations and neighbours, who helped look for her.
The outgoing, street-smart youngster, became a household name as almost one million posters were plastered on telephone poles and shop windows across the province.
It was on a spring afternoon 12 years ago that Jolene returned home from school and helped her father prepare supper. The feisty girl loved to peel potatoes, something she did that afternoon in the kitchen of her apartment.
After she had finished, Rene Riendeau gave his daughter $2 so she could buy something at the local corner store. Jolene put on her roller blades and left home, telling her dad she would be back an hour later for dinner.
It was 4:30 p.m. on April 12, 1999.
Jolene skated to a corner store about six blocks from her home. A neighbour saw her munching on potato chips outside the store a few minutes later. But instead of returning home, the young girl mysteriously vanished. No one saw her being kidnapped; no one heard cries for help and no one saw her leave with anyone.
Although Jolene sometimes came home late, her parents were particularly worried that night because she had not called them.
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