Police set up dedicated tip line after W5 airs documentary on Ont. baby's mysterious death
The Ontario Provincial Police have now set up a dedicated tip hotline after being flooded with tips following the broadcast of a W5 documentary about the mysterious death of a baby 30 years ago.
“The Baby In The Snow” investigated the unsolved murder of 11-month-old Dusty Bowers in Kincardine in 1988.
It raised questions about the initial police investigation, and the OPP decision to close the file shortly after the child’s mother, Julie Bowers, was found not guilty in Dusty's death.
The documentary exposed a number of disturbing details including a flawed autopsy report conducted by now-disgraced pathologist Charles Smith; suggestions that police didn’t properly measure footprints at the scene, or properly dust Julie’s car for fingerprints; and that police never followed up on an alternate defence theory that implicated some of Julie’s family members.
The OPP won't say how many tips have come in since the documentary aired on Saturday night, but the volume was enough to set up a dedicated line.
The OPP’s Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Detective Inspector Gilles Depratto, says the new tip line means “all calls that come in will be received directly by members familiar with the investigation.”
Depratto added: “We are not in a position to comment on the number or quality of the tips being received.”
Breaking her silence for the first time in decades, Julie Bowers told W5 she initially expected police would continue to investigate her son’s death after she was found not guilty in 1990.
”One time I did call the police in Kincardine to ask about the case,” she said. “ I was told that it was a cold case and nothing would ever be done.”
Despite the not-guilty verdict, Dave Quinn, the now retired Kincardine police constable who first investigated the case still stands behind the original arrest of Julie Bowers.
“I don’t have any doubt,” Quinn said. “ And if I’m proven wrong, I’d be the first one to apologize to her. But I don’t see that happening. Not in my lifetime.”
Julie Bowers rarely returns to Kincardine, except, occasionally, to visit her son’s grave. “I speak to him,” she said. “I tell him that I love him and that I’ve not forgotten him.”
The Dusty Bowers OPP hotline is: 705-716-4685