Cape Breton community remembers young murder victim
A Cape Breton family is grieving the loss of their daughter after a body was found in a hockey bag, floating on the Mira River Friday night.
Relatives and friends have been filling the Jessome home in Little Bras d'Or, N.S. to offer support and sympathy after the death of 21-year-old Laura Jessome.
Jessome's two sisters say the whole family is in shock over her death, which police have confirmed as a homicide.
"She was a beautiful girl. She was a sweetheart," says Jamie Jessome. "I hope they find them. If they don't, it won't change that she's gone, but she didn't deserve this. That is for sure. We love her and miss her."
Another relative tells CTV News they had not heard from the victim for nearly three weeks before her body was found.
Jessome, who had not been reported missing, was known to police and her cousin admits she led a troubled life and was friends with "people in the drug scene."
"She just got mixed up with a bad crowd," says Lee Petrossie. "Hopefully people can learn from this. It's very tragic."
A police dive team returned to Marion Bridge today to continue an underwater search in the area where Jessome's body was found.
Police say the search is considered routine and is not an effort to recover a specific weapon.
The victim's grandfather too is lamenting the loss of his granddaughter.
"She was a beautiful little girl. Got tangled up with the wrong people I guess," says Bernie Buffett. "I can't say nothing else. It's too gruesome, too hard."
Little Bras d'Or is a tight knit community in a larger area of Cape Breton known as the northside, and there is outrage there over how Jessome's remains were discovered.
"I think it's a disgrace," says area resident Bill Carey. "I think they want to find out who done it and send them to hell."
"It's scary for the children who are growing up and hearing all this," says area resident Lee Iannetti. "It's terrible, it really is."
The Cape Breton Regional Police say they are continuing a round-the-clock murder investigation which involves more than two dozen officers.
Investigators have tracked down the original owner of the hockey bag in which the victim's remains were found. They say it belonged to a member of the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association and the player's name was still on the bag.
However, police have verified the owner's story that the hockey bag containing used sports gear was left at a curb in April during a heavy garbage pickup.
The owner told police a truck with three or four youths took the bag and police are now looking for the group as they continue to chase down leads in the case.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald