Victim in cold case identified as 18-year-old Ontario man

Ontario Provincial Police have identified a victim in a 42-year-old cold case as an 18-year-old man after investigators used DNA testing and facial reconstruction to trace his identity.

$50,000 reward posted for information leading to arrest in 1967 slaying

Ontario Provincial Police have identified a victim in a 42-year-old cold case as an 18-year-old man after investigators used DNA testing and facial reconstruction to trace his identity.

Ontario police have identified human remains found in Balsam Lake Provincial Park in 1967 as being those of Eric Jones of Noelville, Ont. ((Courtesy of OPP))
Eric Jones of Noelville, about 100 kilometres west of North Bay, was last seen by family members in April 1967, investigators said Monday. 

Jones's body was found in 1967 in Balsam Lake Provincial Park near Coboconk. Family members identified the composite model released by police after seeing a television news show about the case a few weeks ago.

It is the second recently resurrected unsolved slaying in Ontario that has relied on DNA testing and facial reconstruction. Investigators have suggested potential links in three cold cases involving slain young men.

Jones moved to Toronto in early 1967 to live with an aunt before moving out in May of that year, investigators said Monday.

He was never heard from again.

"We need to establish who he hung around with, where he was living, where he might have been working, the activities that he would be engaged in to help us put together his last days," OPP Det. Insp. Ian Maule, who heads the cold case squad, told reporters at a news conference Monday at OPP headquarters in Orillia.

Family 'always feared the worst'

Investigators used facial reconstruction techniques to create a composite model of the victim. ((OPP))
Jones was reported missing to Toronto police in the late 1960s, but had been taken off the missing persons system sometime in the 1970s over confusion regarding whether he or his brother were named in the file, Maule said.

Maule expressed his condolences to the family and said the force will keep pursuing Jones's killer despite the length of time that has passed. He said the family has "always feared the worst" about what happened to the teenager.

"The families involved in these cases never forget," Maule said. "They're dealing with a loss 42 years later as if it just happened today…. They really had no idea what happened to Eric all these years." 

A second man was found slain in 1968 in Schomberg, about 40 kilometres north of Toronto. Two years ago, he was identified as 17-year-old Richard Hovey of Fredericton, N.B.

Both victims were found naked with their hands bound, police said. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in either slaying.

Investigators believe both victims may have been picked up by an attacker in downtown Toronto. Hovey was last seen getting into a Chevrolet Corvair with a muscular black male on Yorkville Avenue in June 1967, police said.

The remains of another man were found near Markham in 1980.

Police said the three slayings have similarities to other cases in the summer of '67, when two young men were picked up in downtown Toronto, then taken to rural areas and attacked.