Canadian police have announced that they have solved a 48-year-old cold case involving the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Toronto girl. Using DNA evidence, they recently charged a 60-year-old man with murder and a related sexual assault offence.
The victim, Rosaleen Clarke, was found dead near the Don Valley Golf Course in Toronto in 1972. At the time, investigators pursued several leads, but were unsuccessful in solving the case.
The recent breakthrough came after investigators received a sample of DNA from tips generated earlier by Toronto police. This evidence was combined with other forensic evidence collected in 1972 and compared with a list of unknown suspects. Investigators determined that the sample matched the DNA profile of a suspect named Kenneth Clough.
Clough was arrested in August 2020 and has been charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. Police believe that he is the only suspect since he cannot be linked to any other rape or murder case.
This case exemplifies the importance of DNA evidence in solving long-standing cases. Advances in forensic science have made it increasingly possible to solve cases that have gone unsolved for decades. It is also hoped that the closure of this case brings some comfort to the victim’s family, who had wondered for nearly 50 years what had happened to Rosaleen.