An Ontario pastor is telling the trial of a woman accused in the death of her stepdaughter about a confession that led to a break in a homicide case that lay unsolved for years.
Rev. Eduardo Cruz says Elaine Biddersingh came to him in November 2011 and told him about the death of her stepdaughter, Melonie.
He says Biddersingh told him about how Melonie came from Jamaica to live in the family home in Toronto.
Cruz says Biddersingh told him Melonie was confined, denied food, water and medical attention before she died.
Biddersingh has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Melonie, whose body was found in a burning suitcase in an industrial parking lot north of Toronto in 1994.
Melonie’s identity remained a mystery until 2011, when Cruz went to police after his conversation with Biddersingh.
“I said ‘what you’re telling me is very serious and I need to know if it’s the truth,'” Cruz recalled for the court. “She said ‘pastor, it’s 100 per cent true.'”
A DNA test confirmed Melonie’s identity in 2012, and Biddersingh and her husband were arrested, court heard.
The trial has heard from a Crown prosecutor that Biddersingh was the “mastermind” behind horrific physical and emotional abuse suffered by Melonie, while her husband was the enforcer.
The jury has heard that Melonie and two brothers came to Toronto from Jamaica to live with their father and stepmother.
The children were not sent to school and over time, were treated like slaves, the court has heard.