New video released on unsolved 1996 disappearance of a northern Ontario teen
NORTH BAY -- The Ontario Provincial Police has released three behind-the-scenes videos into high-profile cold cases, hoping to bring in new tips and leads.
One of the videos features Melanie Ethier, who disappeared in New Liskeard more than 23 years ago, when she was 15.
"Melanie was a very bubbly person," says Melanie’s mom Celine Ethier in the video. "She hung out with a good crowd. She was good in school. She was responsible."
The newly-released footage was created by police. It shows crime scene photos, along with interviews with loved ones and lead investigators.
Melanie was spending time with her friends the day before she disappeared.
"They were just doing what normal teenagers would do, hanging out and doing a bit of shopping," says OPP Det. Sgt. Lisa Laxton in the video. "One of her friends went into the store to buy a new cake for her grandmother’s birthday."
After shopping, they stopped by Melanie’s house in hopes of watching a movie. Melanie’s mom said "no," because her room wasn’t clean. Instead, they went to a friend’s house to watch the movie.
"I was there watching them go and that was the last time that I saw her," says Celine in the video.
Authorities say Melanie left her friend's house around 1:30 am on Sept. 29, 1996. She was last spotted walking home on the Wabi Bridge, never to be seen again.
Her mom contacted local police, who began looking into her disappearance along with the OPP.
"We do believe she did come to some foul play that evening," says Laxton.
Police sent a dive team into the Wabi River, but nothing was found.
Authorities say they wanted to create the videos to bring older cases, like this one, back in the public’s eye, hoping someone who knows something about Ethier’s disappearance will do the right thing and come forward.
"I wish they would find it in their heart to come forward and end that silence, to not go to the grave with that kind of information," says Celine in the video.
Anyone with any information on Melanie’s whereabouts is encouraged to call OPP or Crime Stoppers.