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Murder victim's mom adds to reward

The mother of a Sault Ste. Marie man whose murderer is still sought a decade later is willing to commit $10,000 of her own money to boost a long-standing provincial reward. Todd Alan Petrie, 48, was found dead in his downtown apartment on Feb. 27, 2011. The former U.S. Marine died of blunt force trauma in his second-floor unit at 142 Albert St. E. Ontario Provincial Police started to offer a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Petrie’s death in 2011. The incentive is still available, with additional cash Joyce Petrie will now offer to find her son’s killer. “We can do it,” Petrie told The Sault Star during a telephone interview from her winter home in Zephyrhills, Fla. “I’d do it on my own. If it led to the arrest, yes, I’d do it. I will add to the reward. You don’t know. This is a golden opportunity to try it.” She is frustrated with the investigative work done by Ontario Provincial Police and Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. Petrie regrets choosing not to hire hiring private investigators to probe her son’s killing. “You can’t tell me they could not come up with one suspect in that small town,” she said. “I guess I backed off, but I should have done it.” Petrie suggests investigators she hired “would have found out something more” about her son’s murder. She’s not keen the major case manager is based nearly 600 kilometres away. Police have said Todd Petrie was security conscious and probably knew his killer. “You couldn’t get in his apartment unless he wanted you in there,” said Petrie. “Whoever he let in he know or he was not threatened by. I really do think Todd got into something that he shouldn’t have got into it and he was a threat.” The former nurse says she has “resigned myself” to never knowing who is responsible for killing her son. “I don’t think I will ever find out, which is kind of sad,” said Petrie. “I would like to find out everything, but I don’t think it’s going to happen in my lifetime.” Det. Insp. Shawn Glassford, of Ontario Provincial Police, is the case manager. He’s based in Orillia, Ont. Sault police asked for OPP’s assistance in Petrie’s slaying because his murder was one of three in quick succession at the time. He’s continued in that role for continuity. “It also ensures if something were to come up, and it develops into something, we’ve got the (OPP’s) resources. They always do have them anyways, but this just makes it easier.” Investigators need the public’s help to make an arrest. “A lot can change in 10 years,” he said. “People their circumstances change. Maybe they didn’t want to talk, but now they can.” Police have done hundreds of interviews and interviewed people “right across Canada,” occasionally multiple times. “Sometimes people don’t tell the whole story, or they tell us something and then we got to go back for clarification,” said Glassford. Anyone with information about Petrie’s slaying can call OPP at 888-310-1122, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service at 705-949-6300 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. Maximum reward from Crime Stoppers is $2,000, but tipsters don’t have to testify in court. Someone trying to tap the OPP reward may have to appear during the trial of Petrie’s murderer, said Glassford. “I would love to see somebody receive that $50,000,” he said. “We need that community involvement in this case. It’s a good chunk of money. It would help somebody.” Glassford acknowledges time works against investigators as memories fade and people associated with the case die. He notes “a number of people” connected to the Petrie probe have died in the last decade. “Obviously anything they did know or didn’t tell us goes with them,” said Glassford. Those who have died and were “witnesses to certain events” could have had the information police need to find make an arrest. “I guess that’s always the chance,” said Glassford. “That’s always the possibility.” Petrie is more definite. “Time is not on my side,” she said. “There’s too many people that have passed away now.” Police don’t want an investigation that is still active after a decade. “We do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen, but it does happen,” said Glassford. “The longer it goes, it becomes more difficult. However, sometimes it takes time for certain people to come forward with that information, whether that be a change in their status or personal relationships with people. Maybe they’ve just lived with this information for 10 years and they just finally have to get it off their chest. That’s what they’re hoping for.” Arrests can still be made years later. Katherine May Wilson, 12, of Kirkland Lake, was murdered in 1970. A suspect was arrested in 2009. Micheline St. Amour, 20, of East Ferris, was stabbed to death in 1980. Her alleged killer was found in 2020. “Investigators, they’re dedicated to solving these cases,” said Glassford. “They don’t give up. If somebody came forward we want to be able to talk to them.” Petrie doubts that will occur. “If they’re just sitting back waiting for somebody to come forward, that’s never going to happen,” she said. Her son is buried at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Mich. The Saginaw, Mich., resident left a wreath at his grave in the fall before she went to Florida for the winter. btkelly@postmedia.com On Twitter: @Saultreporter

1 day ago Local News
Murder victim's mom adds to rew…
Local News

College support pays dividends to community: Study

The nearly 40 per cent of Sault College students who are not from the area added $10.4 million in income to Algoma District in 2019-2020, a new study finds. International students contributed $4.4 million, or 42 per cent, of that amount, labour market analytics firm Emsi says. Students paid $27.3 million for tuition, fees and supplies. “This study shows what a significant positive impact the college has on our students and our community,” said President Ron Common during a board of governors meeting last Thursday. “We generate a substantial return on investment to the major stakeholder groups – the students, the taxpayers and society.” Emsi found provincial taxpayers get $1.80 back for every government dollar that supports the post-secondary institution. The Ontario government earmarked funding of $41.8 million in 2019-2020. In return, graduates will contribute $72.6 million in taxes from higher lifetime earnings and increased business output because of their college education. Reduced demand for government-funded services will save taxpayers $664,000. Students receive $1.70 back for every dollar they spend on education expenses. Sault College employed 556 full-time-equivalent students during 2019-2020. They were paid $45.7 million. The college added $170.6 million in income to Algoma District, representing 6 per cent of the region’s gross regional product. With one in 15 jobs in Algoma District supported by Sault College, the post-secondary institution has “a very significant impact on our community,” said Common. “As education increases there’s clearly documented relationship with reduced crime, reduced demand for income assistance, increased health and well-being across the province,” he said. Emsi used “very conservative” methodology to calculate its findings, he told governors. A two-page fact sheet was shared with governors in the meeting’s package. The entire report is 93 pages. The last study to evaluate the college’s economic impact was about a decade old. That assessment was “becoming dated,” said Common. Emsi did a similar study for Algoma University that was released in early 2020. The university has an $80-million impact on the Sault’s economy based on 2017-2018 data. Payroll, not including research employees, stood at $16.7 million. Algoma spent $12.5 million on day-to-day expenses. btkelly@postmedia.com On Twitter: @Saultreporter

17 hours ago Local News
College support pays dividends …
Local News

EZ Ride gets ready to roll

A second ridesharing service expects to start rolling on Sault Ste. Marie streets later this year. Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board approved a vehicle for hire application from EZ Ride co-owners Chris Morris and Daniela Parrotti at a meeting last Thursday. Morris expects his fleet of four vehicles will start transporting passengers in the late summer or early fall. “I think we’re in need of additional taxi service to get around Sault Ste. Marie,” said board member Ian MacKenzie. “The more competition, the better the pricing is.” Mayor Christian Provenzano agreed, calling another ridesharing services in the city “a positive thing,” but wanted language in a resolution to be passed by the board to be toughened up. The original motion considered by the board said Morris and Parrotti had to make “every reasonable effort” to meet application requirements. Provenzano was “a little leery” of the wording, asking instead EZ Ride officials “have to comply” with the taxi bylaw that the police services board oversees. “I think that’s fair,” said board member Rick Webb. The adjusted resolution passed. Morris called the board’s expectation “fair enough.” Key parts of his business – including insurance and developing an app for riders to use – were on hold until the board approved his application. “We’re pretty much good to move on to the next stage as long as I get some sort of writing from them that says they’re approving it,” Morris told The Sault Star. He and Parrotti are both drivers with several months experience with U Ride. Morris says “there’s a ton of demand” for ridesharing services. “Adding another service and taking some of their drivers just means that there’s going to be more drivers available to be hired,” he said. “We can get a few more people on the road making some more money and we can get people around safer, more efficiently. With this lockdown slowly starting to dwindle down more and more people are going to be moving around.” EZ Ride has four confirmed drivers. Rates charged will be comparable to Uride, the first ridesharing service that was approved by the board in October 2019. “Our goal is to be available 24/7,” said Morris. “There’s a huge demand overnight, especially Thursday through Sunday.” He expects EZ Ride will have “at least” one driver working nights. U Ride is active in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and nine Ontario cities, including Sudbury, Timmins and Thunder Bay. Morris isn’t looking beyond the Sault in the short term. “Right now there’s absolutely no desire to expand in the next few years,” he said. “Our focus is Sault Ste. Marie. That’s what we want to focus on. We don’t want to start looking at Sudbury, North Bay and all of a sudden our focus gets away from the Sault.” Two taxi companies, UCAB, formerly Union Cab, and Soo Yellow Cab, also operate in the Sault. btkelly@postmedia.com On Twitter: @Saultreporter

19 hours ago Local News
EZ Ride gets ready to roll

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