Parking lot may have answers for mother who's baby went missing 35 years ago

Liliane Cyr with her daughter Vera Sarrah Cyr
PHOTO: The Gazette

Montreal police have enlisted the help of experts and high tech equipment from the École Polytechnique as they try to crack a cold case, the disappearance of a toddler 35 years ago.

On August 15, 1978, Liliane Cyr left her 18-month-old daughter with her boy friend while out of town for work.

When she came home, the man said the child had drowned in the bath, that he notified police and held a burial. He later denied to police that he had babysat her.  He was charged with kidnapping, but the charge was dropped and the case went cold.

It was reopened in 2011 and a lead was offered.  The superintendant of the building where Cyr was living at the time said he saw a man leave the building at around midnight, the night the toddler went missing, holding what appeared to be a bread box.  He was walking towards a field near the apartment on Rochon Street.

That field is now a municipal parking lot in Saint-Laurent.   Police say the body may be buried there.

“We know they never checked this parking lot before, we investigated it and now we’re waiting for the report,” Dominique Verret, constable with the SPVM said.

On April 4, Michel Chouteau, a geophysics professor at l’École Polytechnique and his students spent the day in the parking lot scanning the site with high tech earth probes  to try and detect the metal bread box and see if the earth was ever moved.

“She (Liliane Cyr) was in the parking lot with us and we wanted her not to have too much hope because this is still based on assumptions, that he buried her in the lot, in a metal bread box.  Also a metallic box could be rusted after 35 years...but there’s still some hope,” Chouteau said.

If there is a metal box there police will know when the results come in within a month.

Cyr’s boy friend was an American citizen.  Some media at the time suggested the toddler may have been sold in the US.

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