UNSOLVED: The Murder of Kimlyn Judy Tolgyes (2002) – Burlington, ON

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On August 29 2002, a city of Burlington employee working in Kerncliffe Park discovered a woman’s naked body in the brush near the Kerns Road entrance. It was later determined that she was killed after being struck on the head with a heavy blunt object.

Using fingerprints, the victim was identified as Kimlyn Tolgyes, a 19-year-old from Hamilton who had a three-year-old daughter.

Kimlyn Tolgyes

Tolgyes was last seen Aug. 23 around 9 p.m., getting out of a red pickup truck on Grant Avenue near Main Street in Hamilton.

Almost 20 years later, her murder remains unsolved

Similarities between the Tolgyes murder and the attack earlier in the month led to the creation of Project Advocate, a joint effort between Hamilton and Halton police headed by Detective Sergeant Steve Hrab, to investigate a series of attacks against sex trade workers that began in January 2001.

Two people were arrested as a result of Project Advocate. One, John Earl Crouse is behind bars in Ontario on unrelated charges. The other an unemployed 21-year-old Hamilton man, Peter Conka was deported to the Czech Republic

Detectives suspected a serial predator with a penchant for choking was behind the multiple attacks and unsolved murders

Police began assembling a profile of a suspect – a white man in his 20s, between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10, slim to medium build, with blond or light brown hair and blue eyes. He smoked du Maurier cigarettes and drove an older, sporty, white two-door car with standard transmission.

They believed he was familiar with both downtown Hamilton and the Kerns Road area in Burlington, and may have lived in either area.

The task force also began looking into possible ties in the disappearance of two women, Susan Gourley, 39, and Felicia Floriani, 15. Gourley had been missing since November 2001.

Floriani’s remains were discovered in April 2012, in a remote area of a West Lincoln farm field where they had been for a decade.

Felicia Floriani

Police say the attacks began in on Jan. 9, 2001 when a 40 year old sex worker was robbed at gunpoint at King and Victoria streets in Hamilton

On March 6, 2001 a man wrapped a ligature around the neck of a 17 year old sex worker in the King and Tisdale road area and choked her until she passed out

The third victim, a 33 year old woman, was attacked in the King and Proctor Blvd. area on Sept. 25, 2001. As the woman turned to walk away after a fight over a payment, a ligature was wrapped around her throat. She’s only alive today because whatever her attacker used to wrap around her neck broke

The attacks continued on Aug. 2, 2002, when a 43 year old woman was sexually assaulted in a Kerns Road parking lot in Burlington. She got into his car at Barton and Wellington streets and was driven to a park. She managed to escape and go to an area resident’s home for help

On Aug., 29 the nude and decomposing body of Tolgyes was found in Kerncliffe Park in Burlington, near the spot where the Aug. 2 victim was attacked.

Susan Gourley, 39, was reported missing Aug. 31, 2002 and was last seen on Barton St and Stirton Ave in November 2001

Susan Gourley

On June 10, 2002, Felicia Floriani was reported missing but was last seen by friends and relatives in September of that year

The eighth know victim, was an 18 year old sex worker, who was found unconscious in the Barton and Hess streets area lying in the bushes, beaten and choked with a ligature. She suffered serious brain damage because of the attack.

If you have any information on this case, please contact HRPS or Crimestoppers

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