By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The Durham Regional Police have discovered the DNA of a second female, one missing since 2008, in the basement apartment of Adam Strong, the man connected to the dismembering of Oshawa teen Rori Hache.
In a press conference on July 10, Det. Darren Short with the DRPS Homicide Unit, the man in charge of the investigation, explained that DNA belonging to Kandis Fitzpatrick, who was 18-years-old when she went missing in 2008, was found in the MacMillan Drive apartment belonging to Strong. Her family reported her missing to Durham police in 2010.
Short explains the new evidence was uncovered during the extensive search of Strong’s apartment earlier this year.
Strong, 45, was arrested in December after a human torso, later identified as belonging to Hache, was found floating in the Oshawa harbour. Further remains belonging to Hache were later found in Strong’s apartment leading to his arrest in December 2017.
Over a 25 day period in January, the Homicide Unit scoured the apartment, pulling out a large mass of evidence to be analyzed.
It was during the analysis of this initial round of evidence that the DNA profile of a second female was discovered. Using missing person’s reports and the DNA of Fitzpatrick’s family, the DRPS were able to more or less confirm the DNA belonged to Kandis.
At this time, the police have obtained another search warrant for the home on MacMillan Drive and will be continuing their investigation. Right now, Short says that police cannot comment on whether there are more potential victims, and no additional charges have been laid against Strong, who is currently in custody on a charge of interference with a dead body in connection to Hache’s death.
“We need the evidence to lay the charge and this will take time,” Short said. “Right now, we have nothing to link Kandis and Rori.”
And while there are other missing person’s cases open in Durham, some of which may fit similar profiles to Hache and Fitzpatrick, Det./Sgt. Mitch Martin did not want to comment as to whether the police are expecting to find any more connections or DNA.
“We’re not going to speculate on that,” he said. “The evidence will dictate what charges we lay.”
Moving forward, the police are planning an excavation in the backyard of the MacMillan Drive home, though they did not say when that would occur. During the first search warrant earlier this year, the search of the backyard area was hindered by cold temperature and frozen earth.
In attendance at the press conference was Hache’s mother Shanan Dionne, who said she had been in touch with the Fitzpatrick family. She says she isn’t surprised to learn of another potential victim.
“My daughter was tough, she was very tough, she would not have been an easy catch for anyone to handle, so I knew he knew what he was doing,” she said. “My opinion, he’s responsible, hands down, but the system works in a different way.”
At this point, she says the fact that no murder charge has been laid against Strong is “the worst feeling in the world.”
“You almost feel like Rori is being minimized, that’s how I feel,” she said. “But I believe in my detective, Rori’s detectives, that they’re taking their time for a reason…I understand the protocol that comes with it. So, at home, frustrating, but sitting in there today, I’m glad I’m not putting negative pressure on the police force.”
Police are now appealing to the public for any further information surrounding Hache, Fitzpatrick and Strong. Specifically, the police are looking for anyone who may have information about Strong’s movements in the mid-1990s to his arrest in 2017. As well, they are looking for anyone who may have helped Strong in the towing of a boat he owned. Police say they’ve already spoken with some individuals who assisted Strong in towing his boat to different bodies of water.