Woman found dead in Lake Ontario identified years later through family in Switzerland

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Questions about police mass DNA testing
WATCH - Questions about police mass DNA testing – Nov 17, 2018

Toronto police say they have solved the case of a woman found dead in Humber Bay Shores Park in 2017 through genetic genealogy, linking her to family in Switzerland.

Police said on the afternoon of Aug. 10, 2017, officers responded to the south Etobicoke park where they discovered a deceased woman in Lake Ontario.

The woman did not have any identification or possessions with her and despite several public appeals and searching the missing persons database, they could not identify her, investigators said.

Several years later in January 2023, Toronto police were able to use Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) with the approval from Ontario’s coroner’s office and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

IGG is used by law enforcement when all other leads have been exhausted, as it can identify relatives of the person they are trying to identify through a DNA profile.

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Composite sketch released by Toronto Police. Global News files from Toronto police

“The investigation found distant relatives of the deceased throughout North America, most of whom traced their heritage to a specific region in Switzerland,” police said.

“A DNA comparison between the deceased woman and relatives of the missing person confirmed that the cases were a match.”

Toronto police said in August 2023, investigators reached out to police in Switzerland and learned she was reported missing there in September 2017.

Swiss police notified her family, Toronto police said.

Her death is not considered a criminal matter and her identity is not being released, police said.

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