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Friday, December 09, 2022

DNA helped identify man believed to have kidnapped Brentford woman in 1983: Police

Brantford Police have named a suspect in a nearly four-decade-old missing person case.

At a news conference on Wednesday, police named Steven Mudko as the man they believe was responsible for Mary Hammond’s abduction and her death.

Hammond disappeared on September 8, 1983. She left home at around 3:30 that day to work at a local bakery, where she was scheduled for the morning shift. She never arrived.

Police said they followed in his footsteps to a farm where they found items from his lunchbox. They also discovered a small amount of blood in the area. He said that after that discovery, the road got colder.

At the time of his disappearance, Hammond was 25 years old and a newlywed.

“I’m afraid we’ll never know what happened to Mary,” said her husband, Larry Hammond. “His absence leaves a deep wound.”

He and his family have been searching for the answer for the last 39 years.

“Those who knew him lost a little sunshine,” he said.

On Wednesday, he was found somewhat captive.

Mary Hammond 1 5938242 1654707090919Family members of Mary Hammond speak at a news conference in Brantford on June 8, 2022. (Dan Lockner/Nation World News)

Chief Investigator Staff Sgt. said, “We are releasing a historical photo of Steven Mudko in the hope that it may trigger someone’s memory, to provide additional information that may help advance this investigation.” ” Keith Toler at the press conference.

With the help of advanced technology, they were able to identify a suspect, police said.

“During the initial phase of the investigation, a search warrant was issued on September 11, 1983, at a residence on Memorial Drive,” Toler said. “The evidence seized at this time was examined and kept in police custody. It is because of the foresight and efforts of the investigators that this evidence was available for analysis later when [new] technology was developed. Through the historical evidence confiscated, and with advances in mitochondrial DNA analysis, we have been able to forensically link Mary Hammond to the man believed to be responsible for her abduction and murder.”

Steven Mudko 1 5938303 1654709276506Police believe Steven Mudko, pictured here, kidnapped and murdered Mary Hammond. (Brantford Police Service/Submitted)

Police said Mudko was 36 at the time of Hammond’s disappearance and also lived in Brentford.

He died in 2010, but police said that if he were alive today, Mudko would have been charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder.

“We think he may have at least known the family, but there was no intimate relationship between Mudko and the family,” explained Staff Sgt. Toller.

Hammond’s family said they had mixed feelings during Wednesday’s announcement.

Hammond’s niece, Brenda Wilson, said: “We traveled here today from the North Bay and Ottawa to ask anyone to come forward.” “Even the smallest detail can help. Our greatest wish is to give Mary the comfort and respect she deserves.”

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