INDEPTH: HOLLY JONES
Holly Jones - Timeline
CBC News Online | Updated June 17, 2004
May 12, 2003
Ten-year-old Holly Jones disappears after walking her friend home in her Toronto neighbourhood.
Within hours of her disappearance, police launch a massive search and issue an "Amber Alert," a quick-response strategy used when a child's kidnapping is suspected.
May 13, 2003
Holly's parents Maria Jones and George Stonehouse appeal to the public for her safe return.
Body parts are found in two bags off the shores of Toronto Island.
Hours later, police say "the search for Holly Jones is now a search for her killer," after they confirm the remains found in the bag are Holly's.
The bags are cited as key evidence in the case.
Police photo of
May 14, 2003
Police divers continue to scour the waterfront for any evidence.
Investigators release posters of the two bags and dumbbells that were recovered from Lake Ontario.
A makeshift memorial of flowers, cards and gifts springs up on the Jones's front lawn and sidewalk.
May 15, 2003
Police launch a search for the clothes Holly was wearing the night she was abducted. They say they are "one phone call away" from apprehending the killer or killers.
May 16, 2003
Police appeal to the public for help in identifying two men who were on board ferries bound for Toronto Island, where some of Holly's remains were found. One of the men comes forward and is cleared.
Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino visits Holly's parents at their home, offering his sympathy, and reiterating a pledge to catch the girl's killer.
approximation of Holly Jones's clothes
Toronto police Staff Insp. Gary Ellis says detectives are closing in on the killer. "This killer, their plan has gone terribly awry," Ellis says. "They thought they had committed the perfect crime, they thought they had done a textbook case and what they've done is provide us with a substantial amount of evidence."
May 18, 2003
Police release photos of Holly, hoping they might trigger someone's memory.
May 19, 2003
Toronto police say their hotline has received more than 1,650 phone calls tips, and continue pleading for the public's assistance in providing any information.
May 20, 2003
Dignitaries and hundreds of mourners attend Holly's funeral at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church. The mourners included Ontario Premier Ernie Eves, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and police Chief Julian Fantino.
May 21, 2003
Police intensify search, sifting through hundreds of bags of garbage in the hopes of turning up additional evidence in the case. They start collecting DNA samples from residents of Holly's neighbourhood.
Maria Jones looks up at the
sky outside St. Vincent de Paul Church (CP PHOTO)
June 2, 2003
A man is seen leading a young boy out of a grocery store in Holly's neighbourhood. The man runs off without the boy when his mother screams.
June 5, 2003
Police release a computer-generated picture of Holly depicting her with the clothing she was wearing when she disappeared.
Police suggest the killer may live in the neighbourhood.
June 9, 2003
West-end residents start patrolling their streets after another attempted child abduction. This time, a man grabbed an eight-year-old girl's wrist as she was walking along the street with her mother.
June 10, 2003
Holly's old school steps up its security after more attempted abductions in the area are reported. The school's principal brings in social workers for students who are anxious about the increased police presence in the neighbourhood.
June 14, 2003
Ontario says it will give Toronto police an extra $700,000 to monitor sex offenders.
Security Minister Bob Runciman says Holly's murder was the catalyst for the additional resources.
June 20, 2003
Police arrest Michael Briere, 35, a software developer at a west-end address near Holly's home. He's charged with first-degree murder. He's held without bail and placed in protective custody.
Briere waves his right to a preliminary hearing, sparking rumours that he would plead guilty to Holly Jones' murder.
May, 11 2004
Hundreds of people turn out for a candlelight vigil to mark the first anniversary of Holly Jones' death.
June 17, 2004
Briere pleads guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Holly Jones, 13 months after she was killed and almost a year to the day after his arrest. It's the first time since his arrest that he appears in court in person. Previous court appearances were via video-conferencing. Briere gets an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Briere told the court he was consumed by desire after viewing child pornography. He then abducted and killed Holly.