Child missing since 1978 might be buried beneath school parking lot
Published Thursday, May 1, 2014 4:17PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 1, 2014 4:41PM EDT
A Montreal parking lot may hold the answers to the disappearance of 18-mont-old Yohanna Cyr in 1978.
Police have enlisted the help of experts and equipment from Montreal's École Polytechnique as they look into a new clue involving the 1978 disappearance of an 18-month-old girl.
Liliane Cyr last saw her daughter Yohanna in August 1978 when she left her in the care of her then-boyfriend.
"It's been like you don't live, you exist," Cyr told CTV Montreal. "I've been existing for 35 years."
Following Yohanna's disappearance her boyfriend had claimed that the toddler drowned and she was buried, but he later denied to police that he had been babysitting the young girl.
He was eventually acquitted on an abduction charge.
The superintendent of the apartment building told police he saw a man leave the building the night of the disappearance carrying what appeared to be a bread box.
Police recently scoured aerial photos of the neighbourhood from the 1970s and zeroed in on a field that has since been turned into a parking lot.
Using equipment from École Polytechnique, investigators were able to probe what's beneath the cracked concrete without have to dig using a ground penetrating radar.
The technology is pointed into the ground and detects metal and plastic buried metres below.
The radar was able to detect what appeared to a metallic box buried in the ground.
"When I found this anomaly I called (investigators) and said I found something," said technical engineer Behrooz Sadehi. "Maybe this is the thing you are looking for."
While the technology is typically used in the mining industry, experts say it could also be very useful in criminal investigations.
"We are hoping this new technology will be used now going forward in other unresolved missing children's cases," said Pina Arcamone of the Missing Children's Network. "These families need to know one way or another what happened."
Police have said it could take months to confirm the radar's results and dig up the parking lot. But Cyr said she's used to waiting.
"Thirty-five years compared to maybe eight or 10 months with the DNA testing, it's nothing," she said.