1953 Cold Case Murders of Boys Found in Woods Solved as DNA Helps Cops ID the Children and Their Likely Killer
The boys have finally been identified after a DNA website helped police identify relatives of the children.
Two boys that were found dead in the woods in Canada nearly 70 years after being bludgeoned with a hatchet have finally been identified.
On Jan. 15, 1953, the skeletal remains of two young children were discovered by a groundskeeper who was clearing brush in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Police later determined that the boys had been dead for around five years. Their bodies were covered by a woman’s coat.
The case went cold after some time, but the victims have finally been identified as 7-year-old Derek D'Alton and his 6-year-old brother David. The boys were reportedly descendants of Russian immigrants that migrated to Canada.
Investigators theorize the person who killed Derek and David was likely a close relative who died approximately 25 years ago, police said.
"These murders have haunted generations of homicide investigators, and we are relieved to now give these children a name and to bring some closure to this horrific case," said Vancouver Police Department Inspector Dale Weidman. “Although significant folklore has surrounded this case for years, we must not forget that these were real children who died a tragic and heartbreaking death.”
“At this stage in the investigation, it was never about seeing someone charged for these crimes. It was always about giving these boys a name and finally telling their story," Weidman said.
Police also found a distant family member in Vancouver and contacted the person.
“We knew there were good odds of finding a living family member out there somewhere,” Detective Constable Aida Rodriguez said “But, once we discovered that DNA match, we still had a significant amount of work to do to locate family members, check school records, and confirm specific details about the victims so we could be absolutely certain about their identities.”
The man told police that they were told the children were taken by social services.
"The story that had been handed down to them was that the boys had been removed from the residence by the ministry," Rodriguez told People. "And even though this family member did their best to talk about the boys and try to get the story, the only response they got from family was silence. The absence of the boys was never discussed."
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