Twenty-five years after a teenager went missing in northern Ontario, police are searching a wooded area in Temiskaming District this week after getting a fresh tip on the disappearance of Mélanie Ethier.
That's thanks to the CBC podcast The Next Call by journalist David Ridgen, who this summer focused on the cold case dating back to 1996.
"We were not aware of this particular witness, the witness heard the podcast, we spoke to him and we are here today searching the area of Larocque field," said Robert Matthews, a detective inspector with the Ontario Provincial Police.
Matthews said he can't get into what exactly officers are searching for in the wooded area in North Cobalt, about 10 kilometres from where 15-year-old Ethier, of New Liskeard, was last seen as she was walking home from a get-together.
Mélanie Ethier's face has not faded from the Temiskaming landscape over the past 25 years, with posters and billboards like this one Highway 11. (David Ridgen)
Matthews, who took over the Ethier case in 2019, co-operated with Ridgen on the podcast series in hopes of getting fresh tips like this one.
OPP officers combed through the brush on foot and used search dogs and drones.
Police working with CBC Podcaster has led to some leads in the disappearance of Melanie Ethier of New Liskeard.
A journalist tracing the disappearance of Melanie Ethier in New Liskeard thinks the mystery may soon be solved