RCMP says witness account not supported by facts; others say investigation didn’t go far enough
The RCMP issued a statement Thursday saying information about the Dana Bradley murder investigation reported in a recent Telegram series is not supported by the facts of the case.
In the series, which began March 15, a man told The Telegram he had witnessed the murder of Dana Bradley as a boy, that he was in the back seat of the car that picked her up on Dec. 14, 1981.
The man — identified as “Robert” in The Telegram, to protect his identity — described the murder and where the body was placed before it was found four days later.
Dana Bradley disappeared on Dec. 14, 1981. Her body was found in woods along a lane off Maddox Cove Road on Dec. 18, 1981. — Submitted photo
The RCMP says the information provided by the man has been investigated thoroughly by police, as well as independently investigated by credible sources with full access to police evidence.
“The information provided simply did not match the physical evidence,” the release states.
Robert said the RCMP will never find new evidence if it doesn’t look for it.
“My parents owned a two-door Dodge Dart and a four-door Plymouth Valiant. It appears both those cars are buried beneath about a foot of gravel,” Robert said Thursday.
“You could almost uncover them with a shovel. Why don’t they dig up the cars and at least check them?”
The RCMP said, as with all serious investigations, it is unable to discuss specifics of the Dana Bradley murder investigation as it does not want to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.
The RCMP said it has been vigilant in collecting and protecting key evidence relating directly to Dana’s death, and that while there is considerable medical, physical, witness-based and circumstantial evidence, it cannot be shared with the public or specific witnesses who come forward with information.
“The known facts surrounding the murder of Dana Bradley provide investigators with the ability to assess new information as it arises. Through critical analysis of information, and comparison against the known evidence and facts, investigators are able to determine the validity of the information,” the police statement said.
Robert said his memories are from the viewpoint of being six years old. The type of things the RCMP may know about the case would not necessarily be what a child would observe, he said.
“Even though I was a child, I’m confident I know more about what happened to Dana than they do,” Robert said. “I wonder how they would have interviewed me in 1981 had the opportunity been there?”
The RCMP said over 32 years, investigators have worked with many witnesses and partners, and continue to make every effort to solve the murder.
The RCMP assured the public that when information is brought forward, it is thoroughly investigated and compared against the known facts of the case.
Robert said his information is not the only instance where he believes the RCMP didn’t look deep enough. He also complained to the RCMP that the person he says killed Dana Bradley had sexually abused him in the years around the murder.
“Did the Major Crime Unit direct the local detachment to stop investigating my complaint? Because I know for a fact it wasn’t investigated thoroughly,” Robert said.
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His father agrees.
The man Robert describes had been a close friend of his parents’ in the early 1980s and spent a lot of time at their home. In the 1990s, the man was convicted of sexually abusing children and served time in prison.
Robert’s father said though the police say they exhausted all avenues related to the sexual abuse complaint, no RCMP officers ever questioned him or his wife about the possibility the sexual assaults could have occurred.
“You would think we’d be among the first to be approached to find out how often he was at our home, if our children were at his house, if we left our children in his care, and how close he was to our children,” he said.
Robert’s father said there are photographs of the man with his children up in his arms.
“There was all kinds of opportunity for the abuse to take place,” he said.
“There were sleepovers. We can both remember me dropping (Robert) off at his house.”
He said once when his wife was in hospital, the man helped care for Robert and his siblings while he was visiting his wife.
“He was a pedophile, but that was unknown to us at the time, and we were giving him our youngsters,” he said, shaking his head.
Anyone with information on the Dana Bradley murder is urged to contact the RCMP at 709-772-5400, anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or contact any police detachment.