What started as an investigation into an apparent car crash Monday evening ended with Hamilton police charging three teens with first-degree murder.
Police were called to the area of Patterson and Wesley Roads in Dundas, Ont., around 7:35 p.m. ET after a witness reported seeing a vehicle leave the street and crash into a densely wooded area, driving another 15-18 metres feet off the road before it stopped in a ditch, according to Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk.
Investigators say they found a 17-year-old dead inside the vehicle. Hamilton paramedics and firefighters were unable to revive him.
The initial call was about a car crash, but Bereziuk said police quickly became suspicious that wasn’t what caused the teen’s death.
“It certainly had the appearance of a collision to start with,” explained the detective. “[But] as the patrol officer began his investigation at the scene, he quickly realized it wasn’t adding up, and the evidence wasn’t consistent with that.”
‘Would not have killed anybody’
Bereziuk said investigators determined the injuries the victim suffered weren’t consistent with a car crash.
“That crash would not have killed anybody,” he added.
Witnesses had reported seeing three males flee the area. Bereziuk said the major crimes unit was called in and police quickly arrested three teens matching the description not far from the crash scene.
Two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old have been charged with first-degree murder and were to appear in court Tuesday morning.
The investigation is continuing, but Bereziuk said at this point police aren’t searching for any more suspects.
“We believe we have everybody involved.”
Police believe homicide targeted
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of death, so Bereziuk wasn’t able to provide any details on the teen’s injuries. The coroner was scheduled to perform an autopsy Tuesday morning.
Bereziuk said police are also trying to learn how the four teenagers involved in the incident knew each other.
“Where did these people stand with each other? We’re still looking at the relationship … but we do believe this was targeted, not a random act.”
The name of the victim will be released once his next of kin is notified.
The 17-year-old’s death marks the second homicide in Hamilton so far in 2019.