Case :

ON-UF-1975-05-00001

Summary


Gender : Female
Date Of Discovery : May 3, 1975
Location Of Discovery : Casselman, Ontario
Death Interval (estimate) : Fall 1974 or some weeks before discovery
Race : Caucasian
Age : 25 – 50
Height (estimate) : 161 cm – 165 cm (5’3” – 5’5”)
Weight (estimate) : 45 kg (100 lbs)
Hair Colour : Brown recently dyed reddish blonde, shoulder length
Eye Colour : Unknown

Details


Dental Information :

Front teeth – noticeable gap between her two front teeth
Dentures – partial upper and lower dentures, porcelain teeth
Natural teeth – many required fillings
Staining – from nicotine and coffee, suggesting she was right-handed

Medical Information :

No indication that she had ever given birth

Notable Identifiers :

Abdomen – appendectomy scar, well-healed
Finger and toenails – well manicured, painted with a bright pink or red enamel nail polish

Clothing/Jewelry :

Shirt – navy blue body shirt with collar, buttons down the front, long sleeves and snaps that secured in the crotch area

Other Personal Items :

Unknown

Additional Information :

On the morning of May 3, 1975, the victim was located floating face down in the Nation River about 100 yards from the Highway 417 bridge. The Nation River is west of Casselman, Ontario and just 60 km (35 miles) east of Ottawa.

Police discovered that the victim’s wrists were bound together in front using a man’s necktie. Two other neckties were used to secure her ankles. The woman’s head was wrapped in cloths. Two of the cloths were described as being 178 cm (70″) by 102 cm (48″) in length with fringes. According to police, these may have been throw covers or small bed sheets.  Also wrapped around her head was an orange, yellow and green flowered towel that measured 107 cm (42″) by 58 cm (23″).

After removing the cloths, investigators found a kitchen towel, known as an ‘Irish Toast’ tea towel, had been knotted at the back to form a ligature around her neck. A television cable wire had also been wrapped around the victim’s neck, over top of the kitchen towel.

Blood evidence found on the bridge suggested that the victim had been killed 1 to 4 weeks prior to discovery (Spring 1975). A re-examination of the evidence was done in 2005. The estimated time of death allowed for a time frame as early as the Fall of 1974 to some weeks before discovery.

Police recovered a number of items with the victim’s body. These items are described below:

The ‘Irish Toast’ towel was manufactured in Ireland, exported to Toronto, Ontario and distributed to stores in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. A traditional Irish toast was printed on the towel. It is described as red and white in colour. The towel sold for $1.39 (Canadian) each and was sold through Freiman’s Limited Department stores for some time. Freiman’s was sold to the Hudson Bay Company in 1972.

A decorative necktie known as a ‘Canada Tie’. The tie had a Canadian emblem that appeared in three places. The necktie carried the Bartolini Collection label. It was manufactured by the Metropolitan Cravat Corporation in Montreal, Quebec and sold by various stores in the province of Quebec, Eastern Ontario and Toronto.

Other neckties recovered from the victim are more common in design. One is described as striped with three shades of blue. The other has been described as having a red and white diamond-type pattern. Both ties are pictured below.

A plastic-covered wire of the type typically used in cable television hook-ups (coaxial cable). The cable is black in colour and has a slight splattering of grey paint. Subsequent investigation revealed that the cable was manufactured in Renfrew, Ontario and distributed in the Ottawa, Hull, Montreal and Brockville areas.

Partial dentures worn by the woman were initially thought to have been manufactured abroad. Recent information suggests that the dentures were fairly common in southern Ontario and throughout Canada in terms of quality and materials used.

A plastic wheel from a curtain rod runner was removed from her left armpit.

During the course of the initial investigation, a store clerk in Marmora recalled selling a Canada tie to a couple. The woman matched the victim’s general description. Unfortunately, the store clerk could not remember the date of the sale. The male accompanying the woman could only be described as approximately 163 – 168 cm tall (or 5’4″ to 5’6″ tall) and about 35 years of age.

Contact :

Ontario Provincial Police – Criminal Investigations Branch – 705-329-1835
The Nation River Lady Tip Line – 613-591-2296
Additional Details and Contacts

Case Reference : OPP CIB 955-10-1990-098 – NCMPUR 2005001199
Source Links :

Ontario Provincial Police – Criminal Investigations Branch
National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains
Week in Review: Nation River Lady – Television program hosted by Sue Sgambati on CourtTV
The Globe and Mail – January 13, 1983 edition
“Disappearances: True Accounts of Canadians Who Have Vanished” by Derrick Murdock

Last Modified :
January 25, 2021

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