Holly Maria Jones (September 14, 1992 – May 12, 2003)[1] was a 10-year-old child abduction and murder victim from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On May 12, 2003, while walking a friend home, she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and strangled by Michael Briere. After dismembering her body, Briere attempted to discard the remains by placing them in two bags and used weights to try to sink them in the Toronto Harbour. The bags were found the next morning.[1]

Holly Jones
Holly Maria Jones

(1992-09-14)September 14, 1992
DiedMay 12, 2003(2003-05-12) (aged 10)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cause of deathStrangulation
Known forMurder victim

Briere pleaded guilty to the crime, receiving an automatic life sentence and will not be eligible to apply for parole until 2028.[2][1]

Background edit

Holly Maria Jones was born on September 14, 1992, to parents Maria Jones and George Stonehouse.[3] She had three older siblings: Shauna, Natasha and James. Jones was attending St. Luigi Catholic Elementary School in the Junction Triangle neighborhood at the time of the murder.[3] Holly was a lively, gentle, and energetic girl with a big imagination and even bigger dreams.

She aspired to be a famous singer because she loved music.[4] Holly excelled in school and was a well-liked student and athlete, playing basketball and running cross-country.

Disappearance, discovery and investigation edit

On May 12, 2003, Jones disappeared after walking a friend home in Toronto's west-end neighbourhood; along her route was Briere's house. Hours after her disappearance, she was reported missing, prompting a large-scale police search and an Amber Alert.

Jones' remains were discovered in two duffel bags on the shores of the Toronto Island on May 13, 2003. The area surrounding Jones' neighbourhood would see multiple attempted child abductions in the weeks following the murder and heightened police presence in the area.[1] During a wide-scale request for samples from all men in the area where Jones had gone missing, Briere was initially suspected by police for refusing to provide a DNA sample. Police put Briere under surveillance, and obtained a DNA sample by testing his saliva on a soda can he disposed of in a public trash can. Carpet fibres from the green carpet of his apartment were matched to fibres found on Jones' remains. He was arrested and charged with her murder on June 20, 2003.[1]

Arrest and conviction edit

Michael Briere, a 35 year-old software developer, was charged with the murder at his west-end residence, near Jones' home. On June 17, 2004, Briere pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Holly Jones. In court, he attributed his actions to viewing child pornography, going on to describe his crime as "cruel, inhuman, and nightmarish", stating he wished to spare his victim's family the pain of a trial. He received an automatic life sentence[3] and will not be eligible to apply for parole until 2028.[2]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "CBC News Indepth: Holly Jones". CBC News. June 17, 2004. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Killer of Holly Jones pleads guilty". CBC News. June 17, 2004. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Pagliaro, Jennifer (May 11, 2013). "Holly Jones: How 10-year-old's murder a decade ago brought a Toronto community together". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Sad Story Of Holly Jones: How 10-Year-Old's Murder Brought a Toronto Community Together". BuggedSpace. August 10, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2022.