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104200208
PID: 0420-112000-0208
Case Status: UNSOLVED
Incident: Disappeared While Hitchhiking
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
File Name: Murder of Dana Nicole Bradley
Author/Contributor: Roland P.

Dana Nicole Bradley

File Number: 104200208

St. John's, Newfoundland - Nearly 40 years ago, December 14, 1981, Bradley disappeared while hitchhiking on Topsail Road in St. John's. She had been at a friend's home after school and was on her way home to a family birthday party. When she did not arrive, the family reported her missing to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

Dale Smith, who had been looking for a Christmas tree in the woods found Bradley's body in a wooded area on the Maddox Cove Road south of St. John's four days after she disappeared. Her skull had been fractured by a blunt object and she had been sexually assaulted.

An eyewitness reported seeing Bradley getting into a car with a male driver.

Robert (a pseudonym being used to protect the man's identity) said he saw the man stopping to pick up Dana, who was hitchhiking east on Topsail Road. He took his story to the RCMP in December 2011, since the site of the murder was in their jurisdiction at the time. An investigation ensued around the anniversary of the murder, a time when the RCMP commonly receives new tips.

Robert says the RCMP first met with him on Dec. 14, 2011 - the 30th anniversary of Dana's murder.

According to an RCMP document, the investigation into Robert's tip continued for 16 months.

The RCMP subsequently informed Robert that none of the avenues related to his tip provided any new evidence to support criminal charges.

The subsequent investigation has been described as (then) "the most expensive and exhaustive murder investigation in Canadian history". Hundreds of people were interviewed; thousands of tips were received and investigated.

 Dana Bradley

Police and members of the media arrive at a wooded area near Maddox Cove, after the body of 14-year-old Dana Bradley was discovered in December 1981. (CBC)

In 1986, Mount Pearl resident David Somerton confessed to the crime. He later recanted and the charges were stayed.

Somerton was later convicted of public mischief in relation to the false confession and sentenced to two years imprisonment.

In May 2016, the RCMP announced that they had uncovered new DNA evidence in the Bradley case. Retesting of a sample recovered in 1981 connected the murder to an unknown male subject.

"This new DNA evidence is a breakthrough for the investigation," said Insp. Pat Cahill, the officer in charge of the RCMP's Major Crime Unit.

"Our investigators are using the DNA to eliminate suspects and continue to clear tips received from the public."

The new DNA evidence was used to rule out existing suspects, including the man alleged to be the murderer in connection with the private excavation of the two vehicles that month.

As of 2021, the case remains open and unsolved.

Anyone with information on Bradley's death is urged to come forward to police.

Updates

No recent updates. Any update on this case, please contact us at fileupdate@unsolvedcasefiles.ca.

See all unsolved cases in St. John's, Newfoundland


104200057
PID: 0420-112000-0057
Case Status: UNSOLVED
Incident: ALLEGEDLY ABDUCTED BY THEIR FATHER
Location: Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
File Name: Three Brothers, Father Mysteriously Vanished
Author/Contributor: Roland P.

Mitchell O'brien

File Number: 104200057

Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: Adam, Trevor, and Mitchell O'Brien are brothers missing, who were allegedly abducted by their father.

On November 9, 1996, three brothers (aged 14, 11, and 4) went to visit their father and non-custodial parent, Gary O'Brien, at his home. At 8:30pm that night, Gary called Diana Boland, his ex-wife and the boys' mother and custodial parent, and told her that he was not going to return the boys to her and had rigged his house so that it would explode if anyone entered it.

When Diana asked to speak to the boys, Gary told her "later" and hung up. Diana's sister, who was with Diana at the time, immediately called the police.

When police first arrived at Gary's house, they discovered that Gary had set up a makeshift bomb using two 400-pound (180 kg) propane tanks that would have exploded and destroyed both his home and the surrounding houses if anyone had tried to get inside. Diana believes that this was done in order to create a diversion.

In October 1997, almost a year after the disappearance, an engine assembly for a 1989 Ford Tempo, which may have been from Gary's vehicle, was discovered in the ocean near Flatrock, 10 kilometres from where the boys disappeared. No bodies were recovered from that location. Diana suspects that Gary dumped the engine of his car over the cliffs and into the ocean in order to deliberately mislead police.

The following year, police in Thunder Bay, Ontario received an anonymous tip from a woman who stated that she'd recognized pictures of the brothers. The woman said that she'd babysat for them, and knew the nicknames of one of the boys. Police attempted to locate the woman until 1999, but were unsuccessful.

Although Gary's sister suspects that her brother and her nephews are dead, Diana firmly believes that her sons are still alive, stating that Gary may have taken them to a religious commune and raised them in an environment with no access to technology or the outside world.

In order to aid the search for the O'Brien brothers, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children has created multiple age-progressed photos of the boys over the past two decades, with the most recent ones having been released in early 2017.

Gary O'Brien is wanted by Interpol for their abduction.

This case remains open.

See all unsolved cases in Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador

Any update on this case, please contact us at fileupdate@unsolvedcasefiles.ca (File # 104200057).



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