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Out of the Cold — File No. 3: The stabbing of Cindy Halliday 28 years ago

We are proactively profiling a cold case in every other issue for our readers to share in order to spark renewed interest and hopefully generate tips and information.

August 9, 2020  By Stephen Metelsky

Waverly is a small-knit, quiet community nestled between Hwy 93 and County Rd. 23, about 35 kilometres from Barrie, Ont. Cindy Halliday was born and raised there. She had a large circle of childhood friends, including Marla Adams who lived across the street. Ominous events were not supposed to happen here, but in 1992 they did.

It was April 20 and at 5:30 p.m. Halliday was looking for a ride from Barrie back to Waverly. She never made it home. A missing person’s report was filed. Hundreds of pamphlets were distributed but to no avail. As each day passed, the notion that foul play was involved in the 17-year old’s disappearance became a painful reality.

“It was huge news everywhere. It was a big thing in our town,” Adams said.

On May 3, two weeks after Halliday was last seen alive, her wallet was discovered in a desolate, wooded area near Horseshoe Valley Road. The OPP K9 unit scoured the area but police found nothing.

However, 10 days later, in the same wooded area, a bystander found a red, white and blue jacket that belonged to Halliday. Investigators believed the killer may have planted Halliday’s jacket after the initial, thorough police search.

June revealed everyone’s worst fears when skeletal remains were located. A forensic examination confirmed it was Halliday. She had been stabbed to death.

An OPP behavioural profiler examined the unsolved homicide in September 1992. The profile of the unknown perpetrator was likely a male, in his 20s or 30s who may have known Halliday. The profiler surmised the killer would have exhibited severe physical and emotional indicators leading to changes in his personality and demeanour after the homicide.

Weeks turned into months. New witness information came to the surface in March 1993, indicating a teenager consistent with Halliday’s description had been seen getting into a 1979-1981, light-coloured Chrysler LeBaron or Dodge Diplomat at a Hasty Market in Midland, Ont.

In 2006, the OPP announced a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in Halliday’s murder. Yet, 28 years after Halliday was killed, her murder remains an open, unsolved file.

“She [Cindy] is the reason I wanted to be a cop. It really made me want to do something to solve crimes,” confirmed Adams, currently an officer serving in the Greater Toronto Area. “It is a really hard thing to come to terms with. Her family deserves some closure.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Simcoe County Case Files hotline at 1-844-677-5030 or anonymously at Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

You can watch a related YouTube video at

Stephen Metelsky, M.A., is a writer, (ret.) police sergeant and professor at Mohawk College. Find him on LinkedIn, follow him @StephenMetelsky or email

Read Out of the Cold — File No. 1 here.


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