DNA tests find former Oakville auto worker likely responsible for 1983 death of Brantford woman
Published June 8, 2022 at 5:29 pm
Thirty-nine years after the disappearance of Mary Hammond, Brantford Police Service say they have identified a former Oakville auto worker as the one believed to be responsible.
At a news conference held on Wednesday, Brantford police announced the 1983 disappearance of the then 25-year-old local woman has been solved with the help of DNA evidence.
Police believe Stephen Mudko abducted and killed Hammond (nee Bisenthal) while she was walking to work at the former Buns Master Bakery from her Elgin Street townhouse at 3:30 a.m., on Sept. 8, 1983.
Mudko, who was 36 and a resident of Brantford at the time, died at the age of 63 at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital in June of 2010. He was a former employee at the Ford Motor Co. in Oakville.
Hammond’s body has never been found.
Brantford police say had Mudko been alive today and able to stand trial, he would be facing charges for murder in the 1st degree and abduction.
“As a result of the advancements in technology and forensic sciences, the continued dedication of our officers, and information from our community, the Brantford Police Service is one step closer to being able to determine what happened to Mary Hammond and bring closure to her family,” Brantford Police Service said Wednesday.
Police say Hammond left for her morning shift at the bakery on 110 Morton Ave. where she had worked for about a year.
She walked north Park Road North (now Wayne Gretzky Parkway) and passed the Massey-Ferguson factory and then cut across the field towards the rear of the bakery.
A co-worker called her husband at around 4 a.m. to ask why she not arrived at work. Her footprints were tracked to the property line at the back of Buns Masters and to a point where she had cut across a field. They then disappeared.
At the time of her disappearance, Hammond was 25 years old, five-foot-10, 140 pounds, with long straight reddish-brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion.
She was last seen wearing a blue, mauve, and red lumber jacket, blue jeans, a yellow t-shirt, and white Adidas running shoes with a silver stripe.
Through evidence discovered during the investigation, police were able to identify people who may have been involved in Hammond’s disappearance.
On September 11, 1983, during the initial stages of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at a Memorial Drive residence. Evidence seized at this time was examined and remained in police custody.
With the evidence seized and advancements in mitochondrial DNA analysis, investigators were able to forensically link Hammond to a man believed to be responsible for her abduction and murder.
MUDKO resided in a home on Memorial Drive in Brantford at the time of the woman’s disappearance.
“As a result of the ongoing investigation, detectives with the Brantford Police Service have identified Stephen MUDKO as the individual believed to be responsible for the abduction and murder of Mary Hammond,” Brantford Police said in its release.
Police released a photograph of Mudko in hopes that it may provide additional information which could help further this investigation.
Anyone with information regarding Hammond’s disappearance is asked to contact a tip line to leave a voicemail for investigators at 519-756-0113 ext. 2800, or email [email protected] .
Anonymous information can be provided by contacting Brant- Brantford Crime Stoppers at 519-750-8477 or 1-800-222-8477.
Alternatively, a web tip may be submitted at: www.crimestoppersbb.com/submit-a-tip/
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