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The hunters and the haunted

For retired cops, there is always one case that still keeps them up at night.

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Bob Paquin still remembers the hot sun shining down that Friday afternoon in October 1983. He was working as street supervisor in the traffic division when the call came in for a North End traffic accident.

It was rush hour. Paquin was the only unit available to respond.

A little boy, while sitting on the curb next to his bicycle, had been run over by a vehicle. He was being rushed to hospital in grave condition. And the motorist had fled the scene.

Paquin began canvassing the neighbourhood, desperate for a licence plate or description of the driver.

"Nobody had seen or heard anything," he recalls.

Paquin then went to the Health Sciences Centre, where he was led into the emergency room by a masked and gowned nurse. What he saw next remains forever burned into his memory.

"There, lying face up was the lifeless body of a young innocent child," says Paquin.

Bradley Bluecoat was only eight years old.

Paquin went home that night, furious that the cowardly killer had gotten away.

"I crept into my seven-year-old son’s bedroom and looked down upon my sleeping son. He was the spitting image of Bradley," Paquin recalls. "With tears in my eyes I said a prayer thanking God that my son was safe and warm in his bed surrounded by his teddy bears and the family who loved him."

It’s been 30 years since the boy was run down. Paquin says he’s still haunted by the fact nobody has ever been arrested.

"I often think about this young boy and try to imagine what he would have grown up to become," he says. "Will this case ever be solved? I doubt it very much, but I do know that the suspect will someday have to answer to a higher authority and explain his cowardice."

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