A current case being pursued by Canadians for Accountability, involves unidentified remains found in the Niagara River in 1998 and the saga of a family of a teenager who went missing in 1995. The major issue is that neither the Niagara Regional Police nor the Ontario Coroner’s office have done a DNA analysis on the remains in the past and their attempt to not do the testing now, even under the pressure from the family and Canadians for Accountability.
The interesting feature of this case is the extent to which the Coroner and the police will go to refuse to act. This is where the Police and the Coroner, through their actions, become Whistleblowers, exposing problems with themselves.
The Coroner’s Office, in response to requests from the family has used three excuses not to do the DNA analysis. The first excuse was that DNA testing was too expensive. This excuse was eliminated when the family offered to pay for the test. The second excuse was that, since the teenager drowned in Lake Ontario, there was no way that the body could wash into the Niagara River. This second excuse was blown apart by the complete lack of evidence that the youth drowned in Lake Ontario or, indeed, drowned at all. The third excuse and perhaps the most outrageous was that there was not enough material left in the bones to do the testing. Most experts will tell you that the amount of material required for DNA analysis in miniscule and the best source is a long bone, something reportedly found by police in this case. We find it impossible that no samples can be found.
The Niagara Police also play a role in this “self-whistleblowing”. Two separate freedom of information requests made by Canadians for Accountability were refused on very flimsy grounds; technicalities for sure. Why were they refused?
The bottom line here is that the Coroner and the Niagara Police, through their actions and reactions, opened up a can of worms with themselves at the bottom of the can. It did not require a traditional lone individual coming forward. The Police and the Coroner did it to themselves.