Terrebonne, Quebec — Julie Surprenant disappeared in November 1999. She was wearing a floral skirt, with a blue petticoat, navy blue socks over black tights, a blue scarf with a fish pattern, a green wool jacket and a dark brown leather coat. She was also carrying a black canvas backpack on which she had drawn a peace symbol.
Her neighbour a repeat sex offender Richard Bouillon was suspected of abducting and killing his 16-year-old neighbour Julie Surprenant, but the authorities had insufficient evidence to charge him.
Bouillon lived above the Surprenant home in Terrebonne, when Julie disappeared.
In 2006, this same neighbour made a deathbed confession to her murder. He described where he had dumped her body, stuffed in a sports bag, into a river in Terrebonne, north of Montreal.
"He looked me straight in the eye and said, 'I was the one who killed her,' " nurse's aide Joanne Dubois testified, specifying that he referred to "Julie.", but Bouillon was never charged.
Two correctional service guards also heard the confession.
Even diagnosed with terminal cancer and serving a sentence for unrelated 2003 sexual-assault convictions, lay dying in a guarded hospital room, police investigators had failed to pin the suspected murder on him.
The coroner's report into the disappearance of Julie Surprenant concludes that Richard Bouillon likely raped and killed the teenager.
He had a lengthy criminal history that included rape, sexual assault, molestation and drug trafficking.
Police divers only searched for the body in September 2011. Ms. Surprenant's body had never been found since she vanished after getting off a bus a few blocks from her home.
In 2014, Surpernant's family and friends created a monument in her memory.
Her remains have not been found.
Anyone with information about Birmingham's death can call the RCMP's tip line toll free at 1-844-370-7729, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.