Justice for Holly: Family goes public with battle
The family and friends of a young woman who died after spending a night out with friends is going public with their battle for justice.
They don’t agree with the police findings in the case and are asking for an investigation into the circumstances of Holly Bartlett’s death.
“We just want justice,” says Bartlett’s friend, Shelley Adams.
On a Friday night in March 2010, Bartlett went out with some friends and enjoyed a few drinks.
The 31-year-old woman left in a cab, but she never made it home.
Instead, she was discovered the next morning at the base of the McKay Bridge in Halifax. She was cut, bruised, had broken bones and was found clinging to life.
She died in hospital the following day and police have ruled her death an accident, but those who knew and loved her say there are too many unanswered questions in the case.
Peter Parsons, a mobility expert who worked with Bartlett, says the police investigations failed to take into account how a person who is visually impaired sees the world.
“What I find unacceptable is that when I reached out to tell them how Holly had expert mobility abilities, and how a blind person travels, how they use the traffic clues, that it went unheard,” says Parsons.
He says the path to the bridge is heading downwards and towards loud traffic, which would have been clues that Bartlett was headed the wrong way, away from her apartment.
Parsons helped form the “Justice for Holly” group and his father investigated the case on his own, and led police to new clues, but police say they are not reopening the investigation at this time.
“There’s a lot of gaping holes in here but we’re not fact cultivators, we’re fact verifiers, and we can only go on the information and evidence that we have and so far the evidence that we have does not lead us to believe anything other than a very tragic accident,” says Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais.
For now, the family’s only recourse is to take their Facebook campaign public.
“We can’t get her back but whatever happened that night, we want it to be figured out for some closure for family and friends,” says Adams.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Marie Adsett