New evidence in the cold case of the 1983 disappearance of Mary Emma Hammond has allowed city police to re-open the investigation, according to a media release issued by the Brantford Police Service on Thursday afternoon.
Police say evidence collected during the past two years has helped investigators identify people who may have been involved in Hammond’s disappearance, including a former Brantford resident who is now deceased.
The investigation enabled police to obtain authorization to search a residence located at 143 Market St. in Brantford. The search was conducted during the past week by the forensic identification unit. Police are now awaiting forensic results in relation to the search.
Police say Hammond left her Elgin Street townhouse at about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 8, 1983. She was working an early morning shift at the former Buns Master Bakery on Morton Avenue, where she had worked for about one year.
Hammond declined her husband’s offer to drive her to work and decided to walk to the bakery. She walked north on Park Road North (now Wayne Gretzky Parkway), passed the Massey-Ferguson factory and cut across a field near the back of the bakery, police said.
A co-worker called Hammond’s husband at about 4 a.m. to ask why she had not arrived at work.
Police were notified. Evidence found at the scene included a cup, dish and a half-eaten apple. A white sockette and a small quantity of blood were also discovered in the field.
Hammond’s footprints were followed to the property line at the rear of the bakery and to a point where she crossed the field, then disappeared, police said.
At the time of her disappearance, Hammond was 25 years old, 5’10″, 140 pounds with long, straight reddish-brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. She was last seen wearing a blue, mauve and red lumber jacket, blue jeans, white Adidas running shoes with a silver stripe and a yellow T-shirt.
Investigators received information at the time that a pick-up truck had left the back of the bakery at about the same time as Hammond’s disappearance.
The truck was seen parked at the back of the parking lot and was later spotted driving through the rear lot. It was described as an older brown pick-up truck, possibly a Ford, with painted bumpers and round headlights.
Police say despite appealing to the public and an exhaustive investigation, no truck matching the description has ever been found.
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information in relation to Hammond’s disappearance is asked to contact Sgt. Kristen Bell-Samson at 519-756-0113 ext. 2265.