Joleil Campeau killing: No verdict in Daudelin trial
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:41PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:48PM EDT
After two days of deliberations, there is still no verdict in the trial of a man accused of raping and killing a young girl 19 years ago.
On a late spring day in 1995, nine-year-old Joleil Campeau set out to a friend’s house.
She left her Laval home and was never seen alive again.
Her body was found in a swamp near her house days later.
Her parents never recovered from the stress of losing their young child, and the family paced nervously at the Laval courthouse Wednesday as they waited for a verdict in the trial, which began two weeks ago.
Eric Daudelin, who was 21 at the time of the murder, was a prime suspect because he had lived in the neighbourhood and has a string of prior sexual assault convictions.
Traces of sperm were found on the victim’s underwear, but at the time DNA testing wasn’t advanced enough to match it to a specific suspect.
The case was reopened in 2009, and scientists tried new methods of extracting DNA.
That time, they got a match – the sample, they believed, belonged to Daudelin.
But the DNA evidence wasn’t enough for a conviction, so police initiated an undercover operation that yielded crucial results.
The court heard Wednesday that Daudelin was never a particularly wealthy man, and investigators took advantage of that fact, passing themselves off as members of a criminal organization.
The investigators approached Daudelin to do a few jobs for their organization, which he did, and slowly worked his way up the ranks in the phony gang.
Eventually, the undercover investigators told Daudelin that before he could rise any more in the organization, he had to confess to all his prior crimes, to increase his credibility in front of the “big boss.”
It was then that Daudelin detailed how he raped the girl, killed her then drowned her because he panicked, he said at the time.
Daudelin’s defence lawyer said his client, who wanted to impress the criminals, fabricated the story using details he had cobbled together from newspaper stories.
And the defence says police planted the semen found on the victim’s underwear.
The jury will resume deliberations Thursday.