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In a Queensville, Ont., cemetery, 60 kilometres north of Toronto, a pile of flowers lies in front of Christine Jessop‘s headstone including a fresh bouquet of yellow flowers with a note attached.
“We never met you, but we know people who knew and loved you. May your beautiful soul finally rest in peace,” it reads.
The note is dated Oct. 15, 2020, the day that Toronto police announced they had solved the mystery of who killed Jessop, having learned that DNA found on the nine-year-old girl’s underwear belonged to a then 28-year-old friend of the Jessop family named Calvin Hoover.
People who live and work in the town of 800 people said they are stunned, devastated and relieved.
Some are in disbelief it took 36 years to solve a case that many thought would never be solved, while others are happy that the families of both Jessop and Guy Paul Morin finally have the answers they need to move on.
Morin, a next-door neighbour of the Jessop family at the time of the little girl’s disappearance, was wrongly convicted of the crime. In 1995, Morin was acquitted after DNA evidence proved he was not Jessop’s killer. He served 18 months in prison.
But the question most Queensville residents are still wondering is who was Hoover and had they met him before? The Jessop family told Global News that Hoover’s then-wife, Heather, worked with Christine’s father, Bob, and that the couple had two children.
Global News learned that Hoover and Heather divorced and Hoover later married a woman from Welland. The two were married in 2004 and lived in Waterdown before she died in 2009.
Police said Thursday that Hoover had “outdated charges” when they announced they had identified him as Jessop’s killer. Court documents obtained by Global News found that in December 1996, Hoover was convicted of impaired driving and was fined $800 and lost his licence for a year. At the time, he was living in Ajax.
Global News also learned that Hoover was living in Port Hope on a rural property in 2015 when he died, from asphyxiation. His son who was away at the time came home to find his father hanging in the garage. Hoover had taken his own life.
According to land documents, the ownership of the Port Hope property was transferred to his son’s name at some point.
At the home in Port Hope, Hoover’s son and his wife declined an interview. Kenny Jessop, Christine’s brother, told Global News that Hoover used to babysit them when they were little.