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Quebec coroner’s inquest re-opens investigation into missing girl

MONTREAL – A nurse from Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital in Laval has told a coroner’s inquest looking into the case of missing 16-year-old Julie Surprenant that a prisoner she treated in June 2006 admitted on three seperate occasions to murdering the teen.

Annick Prud’homme, who works as a nursing assistant, told a packed courtroom that 52 year old Richard Bouillon told her he killed the Terrebonne teen, placed her body in a sports bag, with bricks, then dumped it into the Mille-Îles River north of Montreal.

Bouillon was serving a prison term for sexual assault at the time but was being treated for cancer at the hospital. He died a few days after making the alleged statements.

Before today, Prud’homme shared the same information with Quebec Provincial Police in January 2011, after seeing a report on the missing girl on television.

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Divers from the Surete du Quebec searched a portion of the waterway last September, however nothing was found.

The nurse told the inquest that aside from sharing the information with a fellow nurse, she kept it to herself.

When asked why she didn’t contact police immediately, Prud’homme said she thought police had already obtained the so-called “deathbed confession” back in 2006.

She said Bouillon made several attempts to contact journalists days before his death – including a veteran crime reporter.

It does not appear that patient confidentiality laws would have prevented the nurse from revealing the information.

In futher testimony, an orderly from Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital revealed that he also got a death bed confession from Richard Bouillon two days before his death.

A federal corrections guard has also told the inquiry that apparently inmates at a prison in Drummondville spoke with Bouillon about the missing teen. Daniel L’Archeveque found out about this, but decided to ignore it.

Bouillon has always been considered the prime suspect in Surprenant’s disappearance since she was reported missing on November 17, 1999. Bouillon was the girl’s neighbour.

The inquiry is looking into the circumstances surrounding Surprenant’s “death,” but the girl is still officially considered “missing.”
 

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