Family of slain Oshawa teen praise upgraded charge as accused appears in court
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 1:17PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 9, 2018 8:00PM EST
The man accused in the deaths of two Oshawa teens faced his upgraded charges of first-degree murder in court Friday morning.
For the mother of one of his alleged victims, it was the first time she’s felt joy since before her daughter’s disappearance.
“I feel great,” Shanan Dionne, Rori Hache’s mother, said outside the Oshawa courtroom after the hearing.
“This is the first day of actual laugher that I’ve had in a year and a half.”
Hache’s torso was found floating in the Oshawa Harbour in August of 2017, weeks after the pregnant 18-year-old’s family reported her missing.
By December, police had discovered more of her remains in the basement of a home on McMillan Drive.
It was there investigators discovered a second DNA profile.
Forensic teams later matched the profile to Kandis Fitzpatrick, who was last seen by her family in 2008.
Like Hache, she was just 18 years old when she disappeared.
Adam Jeffrey Strong, who had lived at the McMillan Drive home since 2007, was initially charged with incident interference with a dead body in connection with Hache’s death.
He was not accused in Fitzpatrick’s death until Thursday, when police laid the murder charges.
The 45-year-old is now facing two counts of first-degree murder in the death of both young women.
Strong was transported from the Lindsay, Ont. jail to an Oshawa-area police station on Thursday, where he spent the night.
In court on Friday, when his lawyer suggested they should talk about the new charge, Strong casually responded that he “didn’t feel like it.”
“I was up all night,” he said via video link. “I want to go to bed. It’s been a rough day.”
Seated in the courtroom, Hache’s mother let out a gasp.
“Just smug,” Dionne later told reporters.
“Smug to the bitter core of his black heart, you know? Like who hasn’t had a bad night’s sleep? People that don’t even know my daughter that are involved in this case have had nothing but bad night’s sleeps for 17 months, you know?”
Dionne had little to say about the man accused in her daughter’s death and instead spoke about the widespread impact the case has inflicted on her family and community.
Dionne said she “absolutely” needs to know the details of how her daughter died.
“I think if he’s any kind of rational human being that’s about to meet his fate, the best thing he can do is come clean and give us what we want to know,” she said.
“Seventeen months with it on our minds, not knowing what happened to her, where she is or what. Why? Why? Why? Big question of the day – why?”
Dionne said she’s met with the Fitzpatrick family and formed a relationship with them.
No one from the Fitzpatrick family was in court on Friday.
“I couldn’t imagine going ten years,” she said, holding back tears.
“We’re barely surviving a year and a half of going through this. I couldn’t imagine. I’ve met that family in person… They’re hurt, they’re crushed.”
Strong will be taken back to the Lindsay jail Friday night.
He is due back in court on Nov. 30.