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SYNOPSIS OF CASE
During the early morning hours of 17 March 1995, six youths went missing from Pickering, Ontario. Jay Boyle (17), Michael Cummins (17), Danny Higgins (16), Jamie Lefebvre (17), Robbie Rumbolt (17) and Chad Smith (18) were attending a party on Luna Crescent in the town.
During the party, the youngest youth, Danny Higgins, had an altercation with Jay Boyle. Boyle reportedly struck Higgins in the jaw. Higgins left the party and sought out a friend who was also a friend of Boyle, to have her intercede between him and Boyle. The friend and Higgins returned to the party, but everyone had left for another location to continue the party. Higgins and the friend went to another home and then split up. The friend never saw Higgins again.
Meanwhile, at the party, following the altercation, at approximately 00:40, the remaining youths left the party, telling others that they were going to “goof around” at a local marina and that they would be back before morning.
It was the last time any of the boys were ever seen in person by their family and friends.
At 1:48 AM, (17 March), a surveillance camera recorded three persons, identified by family, Michael, Jamie and Robbie, entering East Shore Marina in Frenchman’s Bay. The video revealed the passing of 3 boys in front of one of two cameras. The images are quite grainy, but the three boys were able to be identified. The camera did not record any boat being taken or motored out onto the lake by the youths.
There is no report of where they were during the one-hour gap, although one person interviewed claimed that there was a loud incident of yelling and breaking bottles at the small mall on Krosnos St., just north of the party house, during that period. Between 2 and 3 AM, one or more marina-area residents reportedly heard a motor boat out on the lake.
When the youths failed to return, two of the girlfriends contacted Durham Regional Police (DRPS), in the early morning, 17 March, to report them as missing. Officer James Gillam appears to have been the first point of contact for the girlfriends. Their story of the missing youths appears to have been taken very lightly by Officer Gillam, who on page 2 of his report told the girls to tell the mothers of the missing youths and have them file a report: “Whether that be now or in the A.M.” He also wrote that he told the girls that since: “…no specific locations were known to look for the boys that I couldn’t do much for them.” He further wrote: “Writer felt that [one of the girlfriends] was not truthful…” and “… that the boys were not in danger.” It should be noted that Officer Gillam’s report was not filed until 16:10 on 23 March 1995, almost a week after talking with the girls and was written at the request of his superior.
The next morning, March 18, a vessel was reported stolen from East Shore Marina, described as a four meter (14 foot) long “imitation” Boston Whaler.
By 2 p.m., Saturday, a search was begun. DRPS were joined by the Metro Toronto police marine unit, the Coast Guard and a C-130 aircraft and helicopter from the air-sea rescue unit at Canadian Forces Base Trenton. They found nothing that the DRPS considered of value to the investigation. Hundreds of volunteers from across southern Ontario joined the search, but no bodies, vessels or pieces of clothing, in the determination of DRPS, connected to the missing youths were found. The official search continued until 22 March although the police continued to follow up on “leads”; mostly items of clothing and old boats; none of which DRPS determined were tied to the missing youths. There were also a number of sightings of the youths reported by civilians. It is not evident that these “sightings” were taken seriously.
On 29 March, a red gas tank was found floating, uncapped and inverted, near the shore at Wilson, New York. The U.S. Coast Guard retrieved the tank, and on viewing the bilingual labels, determined that it might have something to do with the missing Boston Whaler. The tank was transferred to DRPS who took it to East Shore Marina where a worker stated he was 99% sure it was from the missing boat. His identification was made based on a small dent on the side of the tank.
On 10 April 1998, the remains of a male were recovered from the Niagara River, near the water intake channel for Sir Adam Beck Hydro Generating Station, by Niagara Regional Police. The description of the remains included a rather detailed description of the pants. They were described as red denim jeans by Levy Strauss. The Boyle family had a picture of Jay taken on the night he disappeared wearing red denim jeans by Levi Strauss.
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