Toronto police are hoping that an emotional appeal from the families of two women killed in 1997 might turn up new leads in the case.

Therese Melanson and Florence Harrison were found dead in the stairwell of a Toronto Community Housing (TCH) building on Sackville Street near Parliament and Gerrard Streets in January, 1997. The women, both 32, had been shot.

"Both the victims were sex trade workers known in the area," Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant said in a video released by police on Monday.

Gallant said DNA was found at the scene, but that it did "not link to any known offenders in the national DNA databank."

Family members address possible witnesses

In the same video, Cimarron Macdonald, Harrison's sister, addressed possible witnesses directly.

"Your lives are different now, you've moved on, you've moved out of the neighbourhood. I know there's someone out there who could come forward and let us have some closure, let [Florence] have some peace," she said.

Kelly Melanson, Therese Melanson's daughter, also appeared in the video.

"Hopefully somebody can put your past aside and maybe bring our family some closure," she said.

Police are asking that anyone with any information about the crime contact police at (416) 808 7400 or anonymously at (416) 222-TIPS.