DNA of second missing teen found at Oshawa home where Rori Hache's remains found

The DNA profile of a second woman has been found at an Oshawa home where the remains of Rori Hache were discovered last year.

Investigators with Durham Regional Police believe the DNA belongs to Kandis Fitzpatrick, who was last seen by family in 2008 but not reported missing until 2010.

She was 18 years old when she vanished.

Det. Darren Short would not comment on the nature of the DNA but said the findings prompted police to return to the basement apartment on McMillan Drive.

Police first began Hache’s death as a homicide in August 2017 when her torso was found floating in the Oshawa Harbour by a fisherman. The pregnant 18-year-old’s death family reported seeing her only a few weeks prior.

The case took a turn in December when police made the grisly discovery of more of Hache’s remains at the McMillan Drive home.

A search of the property subsequently led to the arrest of 45-year-old Adam Jeffrey Strong, who police say has been a tenant at the home since 2007. He is facing one count of indecent interference with a dead body. The charge has not been proven in court.

Strong, who remains in police custody, is “abiding by his counsel’s advice” and has not spoken with police since his arrest.

"I've spoken with (Hache's) family... and I've made it abundantly clear through all the conversations that we need the evidence to lay the charge, and this will take time," Short said.

"By going through the exhibits and the evidence we've collected, the results of that will dictate the further laying of charges."

When more of the teen’s remains were uncovered, police obtained a 30-day search warrant and seized a large quantity of evidence from the basement. Forensic investigators also started to excavate the backyard but the frozen ground hampered their efforts.

Once the search was complete, Short said they were then tasked with “prioritizing” pieces of evidence to send to the Ontario Forensic Pathology Unit.

The second DNA profile was developed from the first round of exhibits tested.

Investigators were then able to narrow down outstanding missing persons reports in the Oshawa-area to two young women and eventually approached the biological parents of Fitzpatrick for DNA samples.

The samples were ultimately a match, Short said.

“We know Kandis had two sisters. We have spoken with those sisters and based on the information they provided to us, their age at the time when Kandis was reported missing, and the fact that Kandis has not been seen since 2008, we strongly believe that the DNA located was that of Kandis,” he said.

“We are, however, taking steps to confirm that and eliminate any other possibility.”

According to her family, Fitzpatrick was last seen leaving her home in 2008 to visit a mall in the Oshawa-area. Her sisters told investigators that they saw her again in the summer of 2008 but that was the last known sighting.

Short said the case suggests that Fitzpatrick was somewhat transient, since the family approached police about her disappearance two years later, but could not be sure of the family history.

So far, police have found nothing to suggest Hache to Fitzpatrick knew each other, or that either knew Adam Strong.

Search for evidence, linkage continues

Police say they’ve since tracked Hache’s last known movements to Aug. 30 at around 9 p.m.

“We have her on video that evening at Lakeridge Health Oshawa,” Short said. “She had been taken there by some people for some medical treatment but Rori left the hospital before being seen.”

Though investigators have followed up on tips from the public and conducted interviews with those close to Hache, Short said they are still trying to fill in the blanks.

Police taped off the McMillan Drive home again on Monday and, armed with a second search warrant, resumed their search for evidence.

Short said they will make a second attempt at excavating the backyard.

A number of outstanding missing persons cases from the Durham Region are also being re-examined, though police say they’re confident they have a “firm grasp” on who’s missing in the region.

According to police, approximately 2,000 people are reported missing in Durham Region annually.

“That’s roughly 5.5 (people) going missing daily,” Det. Sgt. Martin said. “On average, everybody comes back.”

A recent review of outstanding cases, allocated by the Police Chief, revealed only 43 people remain missing since 1963.

Police are now appealing to the public for more information about Strong. They say along with an exhaustive collection of evidence, police also seized a boat in January at the McMillan Drive residence.

“If you know of someone that’s gone missing in downtown Oshawa, in the central core of Oshawa, or Oshawa in general, that may have frequented areas that Adam Strong may have frequented, we’d like to hear about it,” Martin said.