Friday, 24 March 2017

Whitney Dumas: We've got you

Last week, Whitney Dumas joined an exclusive club that no one ever wants to join.
It's been said that there is nothing worse than a parent outliving a child.
There is one thing worse. Little Nathan, who was about to celebrate his eighth birthday, lost his life at the hands of his stepfather, the guy who took him to Disney, who bought him food, who took him to school. His future was ended by a person he trusted to protect him.
And now Whitney must raise her other two small children without their brother, and without their father.
What an ungodly mess.
Today, Whitney and her family said goodbye to Nathan.
Look at this face.
Who could hurt this little boy?

Most of us cannot know what this feels like, to lose a child, especially in this manner.
Over the past week, people across Canada have been touched by this story. Grant LaFleche, who works at the St. Catharines Standard, told me today that his story ran in newspapers across Canada. People across this vast land were touched by it, and raised over $25,000 for this family. As a nation, we are in collective shock that this kind of thing is even possible.
As I told Whitney's friend Amanda last night, Nathan has touched a nerve. The police chief of Niagara had difficulty holding back the tears at a news conference. Paramedics and cops are no doubt seeking help for PTSD. And a poor bank lady, who was just doing her frickin' job, is still in hospital after Nathan's dad stabbed her because he blamed her for his financial woes.
(I have decided not to speak or write his name again. He can rot in jail, or hell, as I'm concerned.)

Thankfully, Whitney is lucky to have the Simpson family, her second family, to lean on.
My cousins Cindy and John know what it's like to lose a child to violence.
It has been almost a year since their daughter Ashley Simpson disappeared from the house she shared with her boyfriend, Derek Favell across the country from where her family lived in Niagara.
In a strange twist of fate, Whitney was Ashley's best friend. Last May, she dropped everything and travelled across the country to join the search.

It's unusual for parents of slain children to know one another.
As it turned out, Whitney is an honorary daughter of the Simpson clan.
Ashley and her sister Amanda have been friends  with Whitney since they were little kids. Whitney spent nearly everyday with the rough and tumble Simpson clan, talking around their legendary bonfires, playing cards, getting into the trouble, getting bailed out.
Little Nathan was there, too, always in the mix, eating the vast amount of food put out by John and Cindy and Ashley
Tonight, there are two faces missing beaming in the light of that bonfire.
And there are three broken parents, and three families. The Simpsons, the Dumas and the family of Whitney's ex-boyfriend.

I have that image seared in my brain.
The bonfire will never be the same again.
Unspeakable. Heartbroken. No words.
It's good to know that Whitney, Cindy, John have each other.
It's good to know that the Simpsons will wrap their loving arms around Whitney, as she did them a year ago.
They can look in each other eyes, and say "I've got you."
Sometimes that has to be enough.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Justin Kuijer: Taking out the trash

On the Saturday morning when Nathan Dumas died, I noticed some strange activity on Facebook. His mother, Whitney, was talking to friends saying something about her van being stolen and "Justice for Nathan."

I also saw postings about a bank incident in my hometown of St. Catharines where Whitney resides, and the stabbing of a bank employee.

Something was not right.

I got in touch with Whitney through the Simpson clan and asked what happened. When I discovered that Nathan had been murdered, I asked  if I could post something, particularly in hopes of finding Justin Kuijer, the man who would later be charged in relation to both incidents.

Whitney is a fine and brave person. She agreed to my post and I put it up Saturday afternoon. By the time I went to bed, it had received more than 100,000 shares. Since then that number has doubled.

Today, the Niagara Regional Police, in a news conference, mentioned that Justin might never have been found without the help of the public via social media. He said the information had been shared on various platforms more than 600,000 times.

I'm not writing this to give myself any credit. The credit for my part in this must go to Whitney because she was brave enough to share during the difficult hours after her son passed, and to the Simpson family whose drum beats louder and harder than anybody I know.

Mostly, I think we should thank Ashley Simpson.

I've been writing about her case since she disappeared last April. Every time I share it, I get thousands of hits. And because of Ashley, I've managed to develop a network across the country and in the U.S. of kind and caring people who want to give Ashley her own form of justice.

Because of Ashley, the message got out, and it went viral.

Collectively, we were able to take out the trash.

Her story continues to be told over and over again. Rebecca and Mike Duke have featured her story numerous times during their weekly true crime podcast from Idaho. And I recently met Shane Michaels at Silent Searchers a dedicated group  of researchers who look for missing persons in Canada.

My posts have also attracted the attention of media where I've been able to share Ashley's story. This week, I received numerous calls about Nathan's case by frantic journos looking to fill in the blanks. I have respected Whitney's privacy, and I am only writing about this now. But every time I talk to them, I mention Ashley. She is tie that binds.

I also have something else to say. Maybe it's weird. Just a theory.

The vehicle Justin was driving belonged to Whitney, whom many of you know is Ashley's best friend. On the back of the vehicle was this logo.

I can't help but believe that Ash was looking after little Nathan.

Little did Justin know that while he was cowardly planning his escape, he'd taken Ashley along for the ride.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nathan Dumas Death: Police to issue Canada-wide warrant for suspect

Nathan (left)

The Niagara Regional Police have announced that they will issue a Canada-wide first degree murder arrest warrant for Justin Kuijer who is wanted in connection with the death of his seven-year-old stepson, Nathan Dumas of St. Catharines.

Nathan died from his injuries on Saturday after being discovered unresponsive by his mother, Whitney Dumas, in his bedroom. Whitney is also grieving the loss of her best friend, Ashley Simpson who disappeared nearly a year ago in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Ashley has never been found and police apparently have no suspects in that case.

Kuijer is also wanted in connection with the stabbing of a bank employee in St. Catharines on Friday. The woman remains in stable but serious condition.

Whitney has received tremendous support since the public learned of the death of her son who was getting ready to celebrate his eighth birthday next week. The public has raised nearly $10,000 for the mother of three through a GoFundMe campaign set up by Ashley's mother, Cindy Mcgean Simpson.

In a Facebook post, Whitney thanked everyone for their tremendous support.

"Myself and my family are so grateful for the overwhelming support from everyone in the community, near and far," she wrote. "Your kind words and well wishes and downpouring of donations have been truly overwhelming."

She also thanked Niagara Regional Police.

"Our police are truly something to be proud of. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty with support and compassion."

She added that Nathan's funeral costs will be covered through victim services.

She also asked for privacy for her family as they grieve this tragic loss.

A full account of what we know so far can be found in the St. Catharines Standard, the local newspaper, which has also covered the case of Ashley Simpson.

Justin is described as armed and extremely dangerous. The public is advised to call 911 if they spot him, or the vehicle in which was last seen travelling.

Ironically, the van has a Missing and Murdered Women decal on the back, which Whitney placed there to honor Ashley.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Police Release New Information on Nathan's Death

This is the official news release from Niagara Regional Police regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Nathan Dumas (Cave). Just a reminder, if anyone knows his whereabouts, do the right thing. And please visit the GoFundMe page to help the family with Nathan's funeral arrangements. Thanks RS

After consultation with the family, NRPS detectives can now confirm that the child transported from the Queenston Street, St. Catharines residence died in the early morning hours of March 18, 2017.  The child has been identified as 7 year old Nathan Cave.  He is the step son of Justin Kuijer.

The exact cause of death of Nathan Cave is not being released.

UPDATE 1 March 18, 2017

Detectives from the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) continue to investigate the incident that occurred at the RBC on Martindale Road in St. Catharines on March 17, 2017.
Justin Kuijer remains at large and is presently wanted for the offence of attempted murder in relation to the RBC incident.
The adult female victim remains in hospital in stable condition.

The NRPS are not investigating this incident as a robbery or a domestic violence matter.  The victim and Kuijer were known to each other professionally.

At approximately 10:16 AM on March 17, 2017, the NRPS along with Niagara Emergency Medical Services responded to an address on Queenston Street in St. Catharines for a report of a child in medical distress.  The child was subsequently transferred to hospital in critical condition.  This remains under investigation.

The identity or the relationship between the child and Justin Kuijer is not being released at this time.

The circumstances that connect the Martindale Road location, the Queenston Street location and Justin Kuijer are evidentiary in nature and are part of the investigation.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the Justin Kuijer or the grey 2009 Pontiac Montana van (Ont. BYTE392) he was driving, are asked to contact the NRPS immediately.
Justin Kuijer should be considered armed and dangerous.  Should a member of the public observe or know the location of Justin Kuijer, do not approach him.  Call 911.

On March 17, 2017, the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) responded to a report of an assault at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) located at 211 Martindale Road in St. Catharines.  1 District St. Catharines uniform officers arrived on scene with Niagara Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) and St. Catharines Fire Services.

The investigation by NRPS detectives has learned that 43 year old Justin Kuijer of St. Catharines entered the bank and stabbed a female employee.  Kuijer then fled the scene in a 2009 Pontiac Montana van, grey in colour (Ontario Licence BYTE392). 

The victim was transported from the scene by NEMS to a local hospital.  She is in serious condition.

The RBC and an area of the parking lot where closed while detectives investigated.  The scene has been processed by detectives from the NRPS Forensic Services Unit.  The bank remains closed.

Justin Kuijer is wanted by the NRPS for the alleged offence of attempted murder.

At the time of the incident Kuijer was wearing:

- Black toque
- Brown leather waist length coat
- Dark pants
- Orange hoodie
- Boots

A second scene is being held in relation to this incident on Queenston Street in St. Catharines.

Kuijer should be considered armed and dangerous. His current location is unknown.

It is believed the victim was targeted by Kuijer. 
During the course of the investigation the Emergency Department at the St. Catharines site of the Niagara Health System instituted precautionary security measures.  Service at the Emergency Department has not been interrupted and it remains open as usual.

This investigation remains ongoing by detectives.  Anyone with information as to the location of Kuijer or the Pontiac van is asked to call 911.

Incident Number: 2014-22235
Submitted By: Philip Gavin
Approved By: Philip Gavin

Information on crimes can also be submitted anonymously using Crime Stoppers of Niagara.
To leave an anonymous tip, please contact Crime Stoppers via:
Telephone - 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
Online -
Text - 274637(CRIMES), keyword Niagara, then your tip.
Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous through any of the methods offered to provide tips. You may also be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 if the information leads to an arrest.

Ashley Simpson: BF's Son Murdered, Boyfriend on the Run

Nathan Dumas (left)

Tragedy has struck the Simpson inner sanctum once again.
Ashley Simpson's close friend, Whitney Dumas, today lost her son, Nathan, who died today. Nathan would have turned eight next week.
Police are looking for Whitney's boyfriend, Justin Kuijer in an unrelated matter which left an RBC employee with serious injuries. Justin is Nathan's stepfather.
The banker was the couple's former mortgage broker, and she's been taken to an unknown trauma centre, for her own safety.

Update: A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with Nathan's burial. Please consider a donation.


Nathan was transported to the hospital, but later died from his injuries.
Justin is now on the run.
If you see him, he is armed, unstable and dangerous. Do not approach.
And pass this on. Let's get this guy.

Please send a prayer for Nathan, and look out for the truck.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Ashley Simpson: 11 Months Gone

As winter turns to spring, and the frozen ground begins to thaw, all thoughts turn to you, Ashley.

It's been nearly a year now since you disappeared. You seemed so happy on that day.

Margaret Falls holds many secrets.

She has begun to whisper your name.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Ashley Simpson: The Last Selfie?

I just received this selfie taken by Michael Sarrazin who accompanied Ashley Simpson to Margaret Falls. It was taken on April 27th, the day she disappeared, and was given to the RCMP by Mike.

According to the last people who saw Ashley, she disappeared shortly after returning from this trip. Thanks Mike.

Thanks also to True Crimes and Mysteries, and Rebecca Duke who has done a followup interview with Mike.

And a final note, if you want to learn more about Ashley's case, and the timeline, you can visit this site. Thanks to Shane for all his good work.