Jenique Dalcourt homicide: Family waiting for justice

The family of a 23-year-old woman found badly beaten and left for dead on a Longueuil bike path last week say they're frustrated by a twist in the investigation that saw the sole suspect in custody released.

Father, brother of woman fatally beaten say they won't let killer 'slip through the cracks'

Jenique Dalcourt homicide

8 years ago
Duration 1:40
The family of a slain Longueuil woman is looking for answers the day after a suspect was released from custody due to lack of evidence.

Jenique Dalcourt was on her way home from work late last Tuesday, but didn't want to bother her mother for a ride. 

Instead, the 23-year-old headed back to her home in Longueuil, just south of Montreal, on foot, taking a dimly lit bike path. 

Dalcourt never made it home that night. Police have released few details about what happened, but it's clear her final moments were horrific. 

Her brutally beaten body was discovered on the bike path. She was later declared dead in hospital.

Her killer remains at large.

Today, her father and brother returned to the site where Dalcourt was found — a spot that is now covered in flowers and tributes. It's the place they said they feel connected to her. 

"It brings up a lot of emotions," her brother, Nick Gandolfo, said. 

Jenique Dalcourt was critically injured when she was found on a Longueuil bike path on Oct. 22. She later died in hospital. (Radio-Canada)

"I don't know what to feel because we don't have anybody pointing us in the right direction as to who did this."

"All I know is this is where my sister's life was taken and we don't have anybody to point the finger at right now. It's hard when you don't have a face, a picture, a name."

On Saturday, Longueuil police arrested a 26-year-old man and had expected to lay charges Monday afternoon. 

However, the man was later released at the request of the Crown prosecutor.

"The prosecutors felt that some elements were missing, notably the results of the forensic tests that we are still waiting on," Const. Tommy Lacroix told Radio-Canada Tuesday.

"It's possible that [forensic test results] will change the course of the investigation, but the investigation is not starting at zero this morning."

Confusion at the courthouse 

Dalcourt's father and brother made the trip from their home in Long Island, N.Y., to make funeral arrangements and to be present in court when the suspect in custody was arraigned. 

"We sat in court all day waiting for that arraignment," her father, John Gandolfo, told CBC News. "We didn't have a translator so we couldn't understand what was happening in the courtroom."

Nick Gandolfo said the experience was "excruciating."

"Every person who walked through that door we looked at as if he was the guy who viciously took away my sister."

It wasn't until 5:30 p.m. that the family was pulled aside by the police and the prosecutor who told them they didn't have enough evidence to lay a charge. 

"I was very upset," John Gandolfo said. "I don't know what to think…We know nothing whatsoever about what happened — why it happened. Was it a random act of violence? We know nothing."

Police now say the man once deemed a suspect is considered an "important witness." They said they're waiting on results from forensic testing to advance the investigation. 

The family said they're confident the police want to bring Dalcourt's killer to justice, but said the process was "flawed" and it cost them their time to grieve. 

Remembering Jenique

Dalcourt, 23, was walking home from work when she was attacked, her family said. (Facebook)

Dalcourt was a kind, happy young woman who exuded positivity, her brother said. 

"It was just something that radiated off of her," he said. 

"I knew that if I was having a bad day, I could reach out to my younger sister and she would put a smile on my face. Just thinking about it now puts a smile on my face."

She had plans to visit her American family at Christmas and she was looking forward to spending time in New York. 

Instead, her family travelled to Longueuil to plan her funeral and they hoped to see her killer arrested. They'll return to the U.S. after the service Wednesday, her father said.

"We're going to stay in touch with the authorities here and make sure that this isn't slipping through the cracks — that the person who took our daughter's life, his sister's life, is brought to justice."