Nfld. & Labrador

Civilians dig up Dana Bradley cars, no evidence inside say RCMP

A group of civilians has started digging up two cars buried in Witless Bay, cars once connected to the Dana Bradley murder.
Members of the Facebook group "Justice for Dana Bradley" were hoping to dig up evidence in unsolved murder case this afternoon. 0:34

A group of civilians which has long advocated digging up two buried cars once connected to the Dana Bradley murder started excavating the vehicles off Tuffs Road in Witless Bay Monday afternoon — as police say the 35-year-old murder case has garnered roughly 40 tips from the public since new DNA evidence was revealed last week. 

The group, which maintains a Facebook account with nearly 10,000 members, called "Justice for Dana Bradley," believes the vehicles contain evidence that could help find who killed the 14-year-old.  

The police, however, do not. 

In an emailed statement, RCMP Director of Communications in Newfoundland and Labrador Laura Hepditch said their investigation found there is "nothing of evidentiary value" in those vehicles. 

"This finding was recently confirmed using the new DNA evidence announced last week. The suspect associated with the vehicles has been cleared of any involvement in this case," said Hepditch.

Pieces of a buried vehicle in Witless Bay dug up by civilians who believe it contains evidence related to the murder of 14-year-old Dana Bradley 35 years ago. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

At the dig site Monday, people were tight-lipped, refusing to identify themselves or answer questions from CBC News.

The group has a legal action against the RCMP, demanding police dig up the cars, with a court date set for late June.

Members have fundraised for the dig and have raised more than $8,000 online to pay for legal fees.

According to the group's postings on social media, a young boy witnessed Dana Bradley's murder and saw her placed in the trunk of one of the buried vehicles, but the RCMP determined his story was not accurate when he came forward years after the crime. 

Hepditch said RCMP investigators are using new DNA technology to re-test evidence in the Bradley file to rule out suspects and clear tips from the public, and check against existing profiles in the National DNA Data Bank. 

"Since late last week, RCMP has received approximately 40 tips from the public," said Hepditch. 

Dana Bradley disappeared on Dec. 14, 1981. Her body was found four days later in the woods near Maddox Cove.

With files from Carolyn Stokes