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Police say work boots key clue in Varaschin murder

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Police are investigating three crime scenes and vow to leave no stone unturned in their investigations.

OPP and Orangeville police investigators are looking at some particular types of footware as they seek the public’s help in identifying who killed Orangeville nurse Sonia Varaschin.
At a news conference on Wednesday in Orangeville, they displayed four different sets of work boots — two made by Dakota and two by WindRiver.
They are sized 10 or 11. The two brands are sold exclusively through the Mark’s Work Wearhouse.
“Last week, through the media, we asked the public to be our eyes and our ears in locating Sonia,” said Det. Insp. Mark Pritchard.
Varaschin was reported missing on Aug. 30. The 42-year-old had failed to report to work at a Mississauga pharmaceutical company. Police found her bloodied Toyota Corolla less than 500 metres from her townhouse.

OPP and Orangeville police display shoes similar to those wanted in connection to the murder of Sonia Varaschin during a press conference in Orangeville, Ont., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010

On Sunday morning, someone out walking their dog found remains believed to be those of Varaschin. An autopsy determined the remains were those of Varaschin, and that she was a homicide victim.
Pritchard noted that the public helped find Varaschin’s body, and they can play an equally important role in identifying her killer.
“We believe that Sonia’s killer is very familiar with Orangeville, with the outskirts of Orangeville, Sonia’s neighbourhood, Sonia’s townhouse — and potentially Sonia herself,” he said.
Pritchard said they want to hear from anyone who knows someone who:

  • wears boots like the ones shown
  • is familiar with the Orangeville area
  • came home on Aug. 30 with unexplained staining on their clothing or their boots
  • has since discarded these boots or does so after today’s announcement
  • or has purchased new boots since Aug. 30 for work-related reasons

“A friend, co-worker or spouse will hold the key to solving this crime,” he said.
“Anyone who has any doubts or any suspicions is encouraged to call the police so we can look into the matter.”

A footprint left behind by the killer of Sonia Varaschin could prove to be as damning as a fingerprint, a forensic expert says.

“That’s a really good tip, actually,” Jim Eadie, a retired Ontario Provincial Police forensics officer, said in an interview on Thursday. “It can be just as powerful evidence as a fingerprint.”

Eadie has been qualified as an expert on footprints and footwear in court and has worked some 300 cases linking footwear to criminals.

The Mark’s Work Wearhouse boots worn by Varaschin’s killer cost about $130, and Eadie said it would be suspicious to the killer’s family or co-workers if he or she casually discarded them for no apparent reason.

If they were well-worn, then wear patterns on their soles can make them truly distinctive, he said.
Pritchard said there is nothing to indicate that there is one that one suspect involved in this homicide.
“I don’t believe that it was a random event. We may not know that until we’ve identified the killer,” he said, adding there was no sign of forced entry to Varaschin’s home.
People with information are asked to is asked to call the Orangeville Police Service tip line at (519) 941-2522


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