Montreal police have revealed that Jolène Riendeau's remains were found under a bridge, hoping the information will encourage witnesses to come forward about the girl's disappearance and death.
Police also said a man arrested and then released on Saturday is still a suspect.
The location was revealed on Monday, exactly eight months after the remains were actually discovered. Sgt. Ian Lafrenière said the remains were discovered by a citizen on Sept. 9, 2010, on the southwestern tip of Montreal, under the Highway 15 south bridge which links Montreal to Nun's Island in the borough of Verdun.
"It took us about one month to establish it was clearly Jolène," said Lafrenière. "Then some 'expertise' were conducted on the body and we are confirming ... it was homicide."
Riendeau was 10 on April 12, 1999, when she disappeared outside a convenience store six blocks from her home in the city's Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. She had gone over to a store on her in-line skates to buy a bag of potato chips, and never came home.
It was a high-profile case which captured headlines in Quebec as well as people's hearts and minds.
A few hours before media were taken to the site where Jolène's remains were found, Lafrenière said police took the girl's family to see the location.
"It was important for them," he said. "They put some flowers [down]."
Lafrenière said police did not disclose the location until now, so as not to hinder the investigation. Police followed up on more than 1,500 tips and interviewed several suspects and witnesses over the years.
"Unfortunately a lot of people have called us to give wrong information," he explained.
Man released on weekend still a suspect
Early Saturday morning, police released the 47-year-old man they were questioning in connection with the slaying. Investigators arrested the man the day before, two days after police informed Riendeau's family that they had found her remains.
Lafrenière said he hopes revealing the location will encourage witnesses to come forward.
"Maybe people were stressed. They were scared to come forward. Now is the moment," said Lafrenière.
He said investigators did not have enough proof to keep the man in custody.
"That's the reason why the suspect was released," said Lafrenière. "But don't get me wrong. He's still a prime suspect for us."
Funeral services will be held for Jolène in Pointe-Saint-Charles on Friday. The funeral costs will be covered by someone not related to the family who was touched by the story.