By Tina Comeau
THE YARMOUTH VANGUARD
The numbers keep adding up in the Mary Ann Lamrock case.
There was the number of years between the time Lamrock went missing to the time her remains were found – two.
There’s the number of years her murder has remained unsolved – 17.
Now you can add another 50,000 to the equation. As in $50,000.
The Lamrock homocide is the newest case added to the province’s Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program. Through this program the Department of Justice will offer cash rewards of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individual(s) responsible for major unsolved crimes – which the Lamrock case is considered to be.
People with information about the cases in the program can call toll-free 1-888-710-9090.
They can review information about the Lamrock case, and other cases in the program, by visiting a link through the Department of Justice’s website.
Those who contact the program, which was launched in October 2006, are expected to provide their name and contact information. And they may be called to testify in court. All calls to the program will be traced and recorded.
Corporal Dana Parsons, of the Southwest Nova Major Crime Unit, submitted the Lamrock case to the Department of Justice for consideration in this rewards program.
He’s hopeful the potential cash reward might provide more incentive for someone to come forward, because so far no leads in the case have panned out.
“There’s been a number of investigators that have worked on it since 1990. We have polygraphed a number of people, interviewed people, done media blitzes. We always seem to generate a couple of tips, we follow up on them, but nothing positive yet,” he says.
Lamrock, who went by the name Ann, was last seen leaving the driveway of her East Pubnico residence on March 6, 1990. There is speculation that she may have been hitchhiking, which was a normal means of getting around for her.
For more than two years her case remained a missing persons investigation, although the feeling among her family and police was that it wasn’t likely she was going to be found alive.
Her mother, Mary Lamrock, says the day her daughter was last seen offered no hint that she wasn’t intending on coming home. Her kitchen table was set. Clothes hung on the line outside. Her unemployment cheque was in the mailbox.
On Jan. 29, 1992, three brothers out hunting came across Lamrock’s remains in woods off the Oak Park Road – a road that stretches between East Pubnico, Yarmouth County and Oak Park, Shelburne County.
“My older brother is the one that came across it and he hollered to us and we went over to see and we noticed the skull,” Kevin Doucette told the Yarmouth Vanguard in an interview once. He said he and his brothers knew they were dealing with human remains, but it didn’t immediately occur to them it was the remains of Ann Lamrock.
An autopsy revealed that Lamrock, a part-time fish plant worker, had been stabbed several times. The RCMP has termed her death as violent.
Ann Lamrock didn’t have an easy childhood growing up. She was the eldest of six siblings but her parents divorced when the children were growing up and the siblings were separated into different foster homes. Lamrock’s foster mother, Evangeline Griffith, once described Ann to the Yarmouth Vanguard.
“She was very quiet and she was very obedient…she was a very good girl,” she said, but Griffith always had the feeling Ann wanted to be back with her parents, her mother in particular.
Lamrock’s birth mother says later in life the two did become close again. Mary Lamrock says the last time she spoke with her daughter was two days before she went missing.
In the years since her murder the mother has become less and less hopeful that the case will be solved.
Cpl. Parsons says if someone has information about Lamrock’s murder, there is likely a fear factor at play.
“First off they’re fearful that if somebody killed once, if I’m the one who puts them behind bars, (then they’ll come after me….),” he says. “I think there is also the fear of just becoming involved with the police and the potential change in their lifestyle as a result of having to be interviewed by police and go to court.”
But with the added incentive of a reward, which goes far beyond the potential $2,000 available through Crime Stoppers, maybe this will help the investigation Cpl. Parsons says.
“And with 17 years having passed since she was murdered, our thoughts change, our allegiance to friends changes. People have died, people have moved. Maybe whoever does know something needs a little reminder, a little kick in the behind, so to speak, to come forward.”
That’s providing someone has information to offer on the case.
From year to year, from investigator to investigator, thoughts and theories have changed.
One question is do investigators believe the killer was local?
“My opinion is, knowing the area, knowing the amount of bootleggers and the legion (where people gather)…I’m thinking if it was local, you would have heard something by now,” Cpl. Parsons suggests. “I’m believing more and more as time goes by that it was some transient that was going by. I think that’s highly likely, but you can never forget it could be some local guy and he’s got the fear of God put in him now that he’s realized he’s killed somebody, he’s just shutting up.”
The other possibility, of course, is that the culprit could be dead.
“If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you step up and say something,” says the investigator. “It’s easy to talk about the killer if he’s dead now. You could reap the benefits of the award….we still solve it.”
But again, because no one has ever stepped forward to point the finger in any direction, the police are still no further ahead.
Still, they continue to hope one day this unsolved case will be solved.
“With the amount of time and years that have passed by,” says Cpl. Parsons, “it’s time that somebody step up to the plate here.”