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Suspect identified 25 years after Toronto woman found dead in Niagara region ditch

Police have identified a man they believe to be responsible for the death of a Toronto woman in her 20s found in a ditch in Niagara Region 25 years ago.

On May 8, 1999, 26-year-old Nadine Gurzenski was found in a roadside ditch in Lincoln, Ont. Her death was deemed a homicide by investigators at the time.

Despite an extensive investigation, police were unable to identify any suspects.

The case remained unsolved until Thursday when the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) announced in a news release that investigators had identified a suspect using investigative genetic genealogy.

Joseph “Raymond” Brousseau, a former resident of New Liskeard, Ont. who died in 2017, would face a charge of second-degree murder in connection with Gurzenski’s death, police said in the release.

Brousseau, 34 years old at the time, was employed as a truck driver when Gurzenski was killed. Police said he “travelled extensively” throughout Canada and the United States for work. He also had ties to Quebec, they said.

Included in Thursday’s update was a statement from Gurzenski’s family.

“We want to recognize that Nadine was an incredibly important part of our family. She meant more than a news headline,” Gurzenski’s husband, Paul, wrote.

“She was a beautiful young woman inside and out, mother, wife, and now grandmother who had her whole life ripped away from her and everyone who loved her. We will always make sure her memory lives on forever,” he continued.

NRPS Deputy Chief Todd Waselovich thanked Gurzenski’s family for their patience in the 25-year investigation.

“Through the tireless work of detectives, we are able to offer some measure of closure for Nadine’s grieving family,” Waselovich said in the release.

“While nothing can ease their pain, the determination of our detectives is evident in identifying the person responsible for her murder. Investigations such as these take a toll on our members, as they carry that weight with them in the search for justice.”

Niagara police also acknowledged the assistance of the Toronto Police Homicide and Cold Case Unit, the Centre of Forensic Sciences, the Office of the Chief Coroner, and the Ministry of the Attorney General.

“The contributions of these law enforcement partners were critical in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion,” the release states.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact detectives at (905) 688-4111, dial option 3, ext. 1009060.

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