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Toronto police crack decades-old homicide case using DNA testing

Toronto police say they have identified the person who allegedly killed a Scarborough man more than 40 years ago.

In a release Monday, police said they responded to a call in 1982 to check on 47-year-old Kevin McBride, who lived in the Sheppard Avenue E. area.

Friends who had dinner plans with McBride were unable to reach him and asked police to check on him. Police said McBride, who lived alone and “was not associated with any criminality,” died by multiple stab wounds in his apartment.

He was last seen on May 15, 1982, two days before his body was found, police said. Investigators at the time determined McBride’s vehicle, a credit card and other personal belongings had been stolen and used between May 15 and May 17, 1982. Police believed he may have been killed the day he was last seen.

The case went cold until it was revisited in 2016 by homicide cold case investigators. They retested exhibits and seized items from the original investigation hoping that “advancements in forensic testing and a DNA databank creation could determine any further leads.”

In 2022, tests revealed a male profile belonging to a man named William Taylor, police said. DNA testing confirmed Taylor, who was 34 years old at the time of the crime, was the source of the unknown DNA left at the scene.

Taylor died in May 2023. 

“If William Taylor was alive today, he would be arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kevin McBride,” police said.

Police said Edmonton, Calgary and New York State Police were involved in the investigation, alongside private science lab Othram Inc. 

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact police or submit a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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