Genetic genealogy offers new clues in 2006 Bowmanville cold case


Published September 8, 2021 at 10:40 am

Durham Police investigators continue to look for the identity of an unknown woman whose remains were found in Bowmanville in 2006.

On October 27, 2006, the remains were discovered in a field near South Service Road and Holt Road in Clarington. Forensic investigators determined the woman was likely between 18 to 25-years of age. It was originally thought that the victim was either Caucasian or of Indigenous descent. Durham Police reached out to the DNA Doe Project Inc. and genetic genealogy suggests she is of African and South-East Asian descent.

Although her remains were not found until 2006, it is estimated that she could have died anytime between 1980 and 2004. She had prominent upper teeth and there was evidence of recent nasal surgery. Originally found with the body was a woman’s digital Omni watch with a stainless-steel band which was sold exclusively at Consumers Distributing from 1981 to 1983. Also found near the remains was a uniquely large, size 9.5 gold ring with a garnet between two one-point diamonds on either side. The word ‘Burns’ was stamped inside, and the ring is believed to have been sold by Burns Jewelers, a family-run business on Simcoe Street in Oshawa from 1923 to 1994. The ring was made by A&A Manufacturing in Toronto.

A sketch of the unidentified female provided by the DNA Doe Project is attached or can be viewed at our website at under Newsroom. Pictures of the evidence found are also attached.

This remains an unsolved investigation from 2006.

Anyone with new information about this incident is asked to call Det. Dorego of the Major Crime Branch – Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5319.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising