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Sweeney's murder remains unsolved 16 years later

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Jan 27, 2014 - 11:48 AM |
Renée Sweeney was murdered 16 years ago today. File photo.

Renée Sweeney was murdered 16 years ago today. File photo.

More than 1,200 suspects eliminated in local cold case

It was 16 years ago today that Renée Sweeney was murdered. The crime remains unsolved.

On Jan. 27, 1998 at 11 a.m., the 23-year-old Laurentian University student was working at Adults Only Video in Sudbury, when she was stabbed to death.

DNA evidence suitable for comparison to a suspect was located at and near the scene of the crime. The police are using the DNA as an investigative tool, and have eliminated more than 1,200 suspects.

Greater Sudbury Police Sgt. David Toffoli, the lead investigator on the Sweeney murder, told Northern Life in 2010 he believes the killer is still alive, and someday, he will be caught.

“All it takes is that one tip,” he said. “One tip could lead us directly to the killer. The person may think it’s an insignificant tip, but for us, it may be the tip that leads us to (the murderer).”

However, he also said people need to realize so much time has passed the suspect may no longer look like he did then.

The suspect may have longer hair, may have no hair, or may have grown facial hair. He may have gained weight. The suspect may now wear contacts or have had surgery, or may only wear the glasses for reading.

At the time of the murder, the suspect was described as a white man in his early 20s, 5-10 to 6-0, 140-150 pounds, with short, dark hair, and wearing glasses, jeans, running shoes and a grey-hooded top underneath a lightweight, teal-coloured jacket.

A short distance from the scene, the suspect abandoned a lightweight jacket and white cotton clothes, which was located by a police dog.

The jacket was from the brand High Sierra, made in Korea, and is a size large. Inside the left breast area of the jacket was a large diaper pin.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 705-674-7511 or Crime Stoppers at 705-222-TIPS, online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com or by texting TIPSUD and the information to CRIMES (274637). 

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