As police continue to investigate these murders, they believe there are people with information that could assist with each of these cases and are urging them to come forward. Police have a phone line dedicated specifically to these investigations – 563-5574 – where people can speak directly to the investigators involved.
“These are horrible and tragic crimes, and our police service is committed to doing everything possible to find the person(s) responsible,” said Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter McIsaac. “We need your help; we’re drawing some increased attention to these investigations with the hope that it will encourage people with information – anything at all – to share it with us and help us solve these murders.”
Twenty-one year old Brett Elizabeth McKinnon was last seen in early June 2006, and was reported missing on July 13th of that same year. On November 21, 2008, local residents found her remains in an area known for hiking and ATV trails on the outskirts of Glace Bay. It was earlier reported that Ms. McKinnon had been seen in Ontario during that 2-year time frame, but investigators know now that is not correct and have determined that Ms. McKinnon went missing on June 14, 2006 and was murdered shortly after.
On September 10, 2006, Harold “Buster” Slaunwhite was found murdered in his residence at 97 Brook Street, Dominon, by family members. He was last seen operating his motor vehicle, a 2005 blue Ford Taurus with Nova Scotia license plat BBV-949, during the daytime hours. Mr. Slaunwhite’s residence is situated near an area that was a hangout for local youths, and investigators have determined that on the night prior to Mr. Slaunwhite’s death, there were two house parties in his neighbourhood. One party was next door to Mr. Slaunwhite’s residence and the second party was a few properties away. Police want to speak with anyone present at these parties who they believe have information relevant to the investigation.
Twenty-one year old Laura Jessome was last seen on May 2, 2012, in the New Aberdeen area of Glace Bay, at which time she had two suitcases with her – one had a floral pattern and the other is believed to be black. She also had a blue laundry basket and a few smaller plastic bags, which contained her clothing and personal belongings. Police have not yet located Ms. Jessome’s belongings. On May 25, 2012 her remains were discovered in a bag floating in the Mira River near Marion Bridge. During a search at that location, police divers located a blue backpack containing a pair of hockey gloves, and police are actively trying to locate the owner of this property.
To increase awareness of these investigative efforts, and the new phone line, Cape Breton Regional Police have launched a campaign, including: CBRM Transit Ads, Public Service Announcements on local cable television stations and a new van in its fleet of vehicles. All three murders are also part of Nova Scotia’s Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program, which offers a cash award of up to $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for specified major unsolved crimes.