Sudbury

Ontario police keep quiet about 2 unsolved cold cases

Police are not releasing any new information on two unsolved cases in northeastern Ontario, saying it could jeopardize the investigations.

Sheri-Lynn McEwan was killed in 2013, and Melanie Ethier went missing in 1996

The investigation continues into the murder of 40-year-old Sheri-Lynn McEwan, who was found dead in her home in Estaire, about 30 kilometres southeast of Sudbury. (Facebook)

Police are not releasing any new information on two unsolved cases in northeastern Ontario, saying it could jeopardize the investigations.

Two years ago, Sheri-Lynn McEwan, 40, was killed in her home in Estaire, Ont., about 30 kilometres southeast of Sudbury. The public doesn't have any more information about what happened the night of Oct. 7, 2013.

Jenny Borton, who was a colleague of McEwen's at the Estaire-Wanup Volunteer Fire Department, says the lack of information is frustrating.

"We're very disappointed that nothing has been found out or nothing's been done yet about it," she said. "You have to go on. People were very scared after it happened, and we haven't learned much more in the meantime, so people just go on with their lives. They have no choice."

Police are also keeping mum on releasing any new information on a 20-year-old missing person case. Melanie Ethier, 15, disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in New Liskeard, Ont., in 1996.

Ontario Provincial Police Det. Insp. Shawn Glassford said the secrecy is necessary to protect privacy and to disprove false confessions.

"The usual thing that police say is protecting the integrity of the investigation and that's true. There's another thing called 'hold back evidence' that we have to keep to ourselves and only a small number of people know details," he said.

"If we start telling people it's no longer hold back [evidence], we lose that vital information that we need to keep secret."

Glassford said investigators regularly get tips about both of these cases. He said they continue to work toward solving them.

Criminologist disagrees

But criminologist Mike Arntfield from the University of Western Ontario said there's no good reason for police to hold back information for years on end. He said it can be counter-productive over time.

"To hold it back for the first two days is good, the first two months perhaps, but two years later? Twenty years later? Forty years later?"

Arntfield said releasing some tidbit of information could lead to new avenues of investigation.

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