1995 Toronto murder solved after case reopened by police 3 years ago

1995 Toronto murder solved after case reopened by police 3 years ago

An unsolved Toronto police cold case that was reopened three years ago and reexamined more recently during the Bruce McArthur investigation has now been solved.

Police said officers were called to a Cosburn Avenue apartment on Sept. 12, 1995 where they found the body of 47-year-old Dennis Joseph Colby.

A post-mortem examination revealed Colby died due to extreme head trauma, which investigators said was consistent with a beating.

The Cold Case Unit began a review of Colby’s death in 2016 and sent evidence to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for DNA analysis.

Amid the charges laid against Bruce McArthur in 2018, police said officers took another look at the case to see if there was any connection. It was later determined there were no links to McArthur or Projects Prism and Houston, previous police investigations into missing men killed by McArthur.

At some point during the review, the Centre of Forensic Sciences submitted an unknown DNA profile to the National DNA Data Bank. Officers said the profile matched with an offender who had a history of violent behaviour. The investigation revealed the man was staying with Colby at around the time he died.

Police said the offender also looked similar to an old sketch they had of the suspect during the original investigation.

Investigators said they found out the suspect died in 2015. If he was alive today, police said he would have been charged with the second-degree murder of Colby.

Officers said Colby’s family has been informed of the developments. Since the suspect died, charges won’t be laid in connection with the case and police said he won’t be identified.

Dennis Joseph Colby, 47, died in 1995 homicide.

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