CBC Digital Archives

Cold Cases: Sharron Prior, Montreal (1975)

They are the heartwrenching stories that shock whole communities, bringing waves of fear and sorrow that can linger for years. Disappearances and unsolved murders devastate Canadian families in all parts of the country, creating anger and suspicions that may never be put to rest. In collaboration with the CBC News series Canadian Cold Case, the CBC Digital Archives presents a collection of stories from unsolved crimes in Canada.

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She was headed to a neighbourhood hangout for a soft drink with some friends. But 16-year-old Sharron Prior never turned up that Saturday in March 1976, and three days later her body was found, raped and beaten, in a field far from home. Almost 30 years later, in 2004, Montreal police scour a garage using a new method of detecting blood to seek new clues in the case. In this short clip from CBC Montreal, the murdered girl's mother says she still holds out hope that Sharron's killer will be found. 
• Sharron Prior, who lived in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe-St-Charles, disappeared on Saturday, Mar. 29, 1975. It was Easter weekend. After saying goodbye to her mother, she left her house and was walking to meet friends at a restaurant about six blocks away.
  • Three days later, on Tuesday, Apr. 1, Prior's body was found in a field in an industrial zone in the suburb of Longueuil, across the St. Lawrence River from her neighbourhood. According to a newspaper article reporting on the discovery, her face was bruised and her skull fractured. Her clothes had been partly removed and she had been raped.

• A man's shirt and footprints found nearby pointed to a suspect weighing about 90 kilograms and about two metres tall (or 200 pounds and six feet tall).

• A year after her death, a newspaper article on her case reported that Prior had likely been alive when she was dumped at the site where her body was found. It also noted that 38 people had been questioned in the case, and six were singled out as prime suspects. But all six were released due to lack of information.

• In this 2004 CBC-TV clip, Montreal police, acting on a tip, attempt to gather DNA samples from a garage in Prior's neighbourhood. According to a website set up by Prior's mother, the DNA testing turned up nothing.

• For more information on the case of Sharron Prior, visit Sharron Prior's website.

Medium: Television
Program: Canada Now
Broadcast Date: July 28, 2004
Guest(s): Yvonne Prior
Reporter: Kristy Snell
Duration: 0:52

Last updated: February 15, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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