OPP to text thousands of people to appeal for info in murder near Caledon
Frederick Hatch, 65, is shown in this picture released by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Thousands of cellphone users will be receiving a text message from the OPP in the hopes of garnering information about an unsolved murder near Caledon.
On Wednesday, police announced they have been granted a court order that forced cellphone companies to provide 7,500 phone numbers.
The OPP were not given the any other information about the registered phone owner.
The phones in question were used on Dec. 16 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the area of West Hunt Club Road in Nepean, Ont. This is where police say Frederick “John” Hatch was the day before he died.
Hatch’s body was found on Dec. 17 in a wooded area near Wellington Road 124 in the small community of Erin, which is located just outside of Caledon.
“Building on the accepted practice of the door-to-door witness canvass, texting is an evolution of this investigative technique that is unique, maybe unprecedented,” said Detective Inspector Andy Raffay of the criminal investigation branch.
The OPP previously tried to drum up tips through the use of a van with Hatch’s image and information posted on its side. A $50,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The text messages will be delivered in both English and French. The message will ask the recipient to visit a website and voluntarily answer questions.
Alternatively people can call the OPP’s tip line at 1-844-677-5010.
With files from CTVNews.ca.