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Volunteer group to use cadaver dogs in search for London woman missing since 2016 | CBC News

A volunteer group that’s investigating the disappearance of a London, Ont., woman who went missing six years ago, will expand its search with the help of cadaver dogs that will examine three separate sites in the city. 

‘Please Bring Me Home’ has been working on the case of Shelley Desrochers since 2018, and its executive director, Nick Oldrieve says the search will focus on areas that were visited by persons of interest in the case but were never explored.

“It’s not focused on a specific person of interest,” he said. “All three locations are either based around separate persons of interest or just a property that Shelley had frequented.” 

Desrochers, who was 42 at the time of her disappearance in January 2016, was last seen in the area of Lorne Avenue and English Street in east London.

Oldrieve’s team is a non-profit corporation made up of volunteers who try to solve cold cases of missing people throughout Canada.

A ground-penetrating radar scan done last year revealed some anomalies that were located at one of the locations, Oldrieve said. 

Nick Oldrieve is head of Please Bring Me Home, a volunteer-led group which seeks to solve cold cases of missing people in Canada. (Submitted by Nick Oldrieve)

“None of these are consistent with human remains but we think out of an abundance of cautionn we’re just going to run cadaver dogs on that property as well,” he said. 

While he couldn’t disclose any specifics about these locations due to privacy concerns from their property owners, Oldrieve did say that two of the areas are busy and see a lot of traffic, while the third is in a residential neighbourhood. 

Police have said that Desrochers followed a “high-risk lifestyle” and struggled with substance abuse and PTSD. 

To that, Oldrieve said “everybody deserves to be brought home, no matter what lifestyle you had, no matter what information surrounds your disappearance.”

Keeping realistic expectations

Although he’s hopeful that searching the three locations will reveal some information that can help trace Desrochers’ steps, Oldrieve’s team plans to keep their expectations low. 

“This is a six-year-old case and a lot could’ve happened in those years,” he said. “London is a large area, and there’s still hundreds of places that Shelley could be.”

Oldrieve said the group was led to examine the first area after receiving numerous tips that he describes as “suspect”.

“The version of events that they [tipsters] gave as to why they were there doesn’t make sense,” he said. “People who are attached to this case are the people who were witnessed visiting this area shortly after she went missing.”

Oldrieve said the third spot, which they have yet to get permission to check, is directly related to a deceased man who London Police have said may have been connected to Desrocher’s disappearance.

“We’re hoping to locate either Shelley or some evidence regarding her disappearance. However, if we come out with those areas debunked then that’s still a step in the right direction for us and we just move on to the next one.” 

CBC News has contacted London Police and Desrochers’ family for comment. This story will be updated once they’ve responded. 

So far, there has been no comment on the latest search search efforts from London police or Desrocher’s family.

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