Police divers are scouring the Mile-Îles River near Terrebonne, Que., for new evidence in a 12-year-old missing persons case.

Provincial police said they are acting on new information in the case of Julie Surprenant, who was 16 years old when she disappeared in 1999.

A tip came in last January when a nurse at a Laval hospital told a reporter that a man dying of cancer confessed five years ago to Surprenant’s murder.

That man, Richard Bouillon, was a neighbour of the teenager and had served time in prison for sexual offences.


Julie Surprenant was last seen in 1999 near her Terrebonne home.

Before his death in 2006, he allegedly told the nurse he had dumped Surprenant’s body in the river.

Surprenant was last seen getting off a bus near her home on Île Saint-Jean, in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal.

On Wednesday, Surprenant's father came to the site where divers were looking for clues as to what happened to his daughter.

"After 12 years, I have some [reservations]

about everything that’s happened," Michel Surprenant said.

"I hope for Julie to be discovered finally. . . The most difficult part is to wait – wait and hope to have an answer"

Police said the reason it’s taken so long to search the area is the fast-moving current in the river make it dangerous.

On Wednesday, police divers had ideal conditions to start the search.