November 10, 2017 7:38 pm
Updated: November 10, 2017 10:19 pm

Police appeal for information in 34-year-old cold case murder investigation

Donna Jean Awcock

Ontario Provincial Police

Nearly 35 years after she died, provincial police continue to search for information in the 1983 murder of Donna Jean Awcock.

The 17-year-old was found dead along the banks of the Thames River, just west of the Fanshawe Dam, on Friday, Oct. 14, 1983.

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Before her death, police say Awcock had been babysitting for a neighbour at an apartment building next door to where she lived along Cheyenne Avenue, now known as Oakville Avenue, in the city’s northeast end. Awcock left the apartment where she had been babysitting around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 13 to go buy cigarettes at a nearby corner store. She never returned. Awcock’s family contacted police when she failed to return home later that day.

The next day, two kilometres northeast of her Cheyenne Avenue home, Awkcock’s badly beaten, partly-clad body was discovered along the riverbank. Police determined the cause of death was ‘manual strangulation.’ Awcock had also been raped.

Leads in the case have been few and far between. Police issued another appeal to the public for information on Friday. In a statement, police said they were “confident someone in the community has vital information” that would lead police to the person or persons responsible.

To this day, the case remains open, police said. The investigation continues under the direction of OPP Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Inspector Randy Wright. The province continues to offer a $50,000 cash reward for information in connection to Awcock’s death, in addition to a cash reward of up to $2,000 from police.

Anyone with information relating to the murder case is asked to contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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