Unsolved Murders: Alexandra Flanagan, Dismembered Remains Found In Two Spots (Barrie, Ontario, Canada; 2007)

33 Year Old Alexandra Flanagan's 2007 Murder Remains Unsolved.

Alexandra Flanagan, who went missing in July 2007.  Her remains were found in two different locations in Barrie, Ontario.
Alexandra Flanagan, who went missing in July 2007. Her remains were found in two different locations in Barrie, Ontario. | Source

The Search Begins...

Alexandra disappearing on July 8th, 2007.  Family and friends began searching for her immediately.
Alexandra disappearing on July 8th, 2007. Family and friends began searching for her immediately. | Source
Search parties organize at Sunnidale Park, hoping to find some trace of Alexandra Flanagan after she disappeared.
Search parties organize at Sunnidale Park, hoping to find some trace of Alexandra Flanagan after she disappeared. | Source
A memorial at the site of where the first set of Alexandra Flanagan's partial remains were recovered at Lackie's Bush.
A memorial at the site of where the first set of Alexandra Flanagan's partial remains were recovered at Lackie's Bush. | Source

News Clip About Alexandra; On Trial Canada

It was July 8th, 2007, when Alexandra Flanagan was last seen...

She was last seen waving goodbye to a male friend near Sunnidale Park, in Barrie, Ontario, Canada that Sunday evening between 8-9pm. That was the last known verifiable sighting of the 33 year-old hairdresser.

After her mother, Wendy Flanagan, had not heard from her daughter in 3 days, she drove from her home in Wasaga Beach to Alex's apartment to check on her. When she arrived that Wednesday, she was shocked to find that not only was her daughter not there, but she had clearly not been there for days. Alexandra's two cats had no food or water, and there was a pot of stew on the stove that had gone rancid. She made a phone call to the salon where Alex worked, and was told her daughter had not shown up for days.

Wendy was understandably quite worried about her daughter, with good reason. It wasn't likely Alexandra just took off; her ID and $900 in rent money was left behind in her apartment, and new washed laundry was folded neatly, just waiting to be put away. When Alexandra was reported missing, the Barrie Police Department did not seem to take it too seriously, treating it as though Alexandra left of her own accord, despite evidence otherwise. Many tips came in that reported sightings of Alexandra in Toronto, Ontario, located about an hour South of Barrie. None of these tips could be substantiated, but to the police, they seemed to help prove their theory that she just took off.

Her friends and family believed otherwise though, and pressured the police, who finally began searching for Alexandra a week after she had disappeared. They started putting up and distributing flyers, as well as doing a ground and aerial search of the area around Sunnidale Park, where she had last been seen. Three days later, on July 19th, friends and volunteers began a search of their own, combing through the wooded area in Sunnidale Park. Both searches are unsuccessful.

On July 23rd, police report that they are still searching, but they go on record as saying they "do not believe she has met with foul play". Police continue to receive tips that report sightings of her in the Toronto area.

Unfortunately, on October 5th, 2007, partial remains are found just off a walkway near Lackie's Bush in Barrie, about 7km away from where Alexandra was last seen. It is reported that initially a leg bone was found, and upon more searching, more bones were found about a km away, still in Lackie's Bush, including the skull. On October 9th, police confirm that the partial remains found belonged to Alexandra Flanagan according to dental records. In February of 2008, more of Alexandra's dismember body was discovered on a pedestrian/bike pathway east of Johnson's Beach, just outside of Barrie.

Alexandra Flanagan.
Alexandra Flanagan. | Source

'Unsolved' News Story Clip on Alexandra's Still Unsolved Murder, 3 Years Later

Investigation, Evidence, and Suspects

Currently, there is no cause of death, no time of death, and no suspects. Many people have been disappointed with the way the police have behaved right from the time that Alexandra went missing, and believe they have dropped the ball with this investigation. I will discuss that in more detail further below. At this point, it's not clear what, if any, evidence the police have found. They still have not found all of Alexandra's remains. Police have maintained that they have 3-4 'persons of interest', who have not been ruled out as being involved in Alexandra's death, but no one has been named an official suspect.

In October of 2007, police did search a residence located on Rose St. in Barrie in relation to the Alexandra Flanagan case. It is not clear if anything they found during the search could be evidence concerning the murder of Alexandra Flanagan. We do know there were some things removed from the basement apartment, that they were sent for forensic testing. The police have said that they could not rule of the 'person of interest' who resided at that residence based on the search, but they obviously do not have enough evidence to charge him either. The police also executed a search warrant at the now-closed Faurecia automotive plant in Barrie in November of 2007, which was still in business at the time. It was issues in relation to an employee at the plant, who is still considered a 'person of interest'. Again, it is unclear if any potential evidence was found there.

The only pieces of information that we do know is that obviously, Alexandra Flanagan was dismembered. This is not only evident by the fact that her remains were found in different areas, but also due to the fact that her bones had evidence of saw marks. We also know that it is possible that her body was not disposed of immediately, and/or that she was not killed immediately; though her remains were decomposed, many people claim that it is impossible, given where the remains in Lackie's Bush were found, that she would not have been discovered earlier if her body had been there from the time of her disappearance, as many people walk their dogs in that area on a regular basis.

The police say that at this point, they have hit a dead end (so to speak), and they need some new information to be able to proceed any further with the investigation.

Poll: Did the Police Screw Up?

Do you believe the Barrie police properly did their job when Alexandra went missing, or did they screw up the investigation by not taking it seriously enough?

  • They followed protocol, and did the best they could with the investigation.
  • They really screwed up, and should have taken her disappearance more seriously from the start.
See results without voting

Did The Police Fail Alexandra?

Friends, family, and other citizens in the city of Barrie have been extremely upset at home Alexandra Flanagan's case has been handled.  People are angry that the Police did not seem to take her disappearance seriously at first, and think more should have been done by the police as soon as she went missing.

The police maintain that they followed all proper protocol, and treated Alexandra's case as they would any other.  They repeatedly have responded to questioning about this with the answer that adults are free to come and go as they please, and that lots of people just decide to just up and walk away from their lives.  They maintain that since there was nothing suspicious reported about Alexandra's disappearance - like a witness who saw her being forced into a car, or evidence her apartment had been broken into - that they had no reason to suspect any kind of foul play, and that protocol is to assume the person left of their own accord. 

Many people do not buy that story.  The fact that she had left behind hundreds of dollars, her ID, her pets, and all of her personal possessions should have been reason enough to rule out her running away from her life or leaving on her own.  Alexandra had also not accessed her bank account, nor was there any cellphone activity since she had went missing.  Friends and family pleaded with police, insisting Alexandra was settled, and happy with her life, and had no reason to leave.  To no avail; the police publicly announced they did not feel there was any evidence of foul play.  In fact, if her friends and family had not gotten frustrated with the lack of effort by police, and taken their pleas and disgruntlement to the media, the police might have been slower to take any action still.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE MURDER OF ALEXANDRA FLANAGAN...

No matter how inconsequential or small you believe that information to be, please contact the Barrie Police Service, Major Crime Unit, at 705-725-7025 ext.2160, contact: Detective Norman Meech, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Remember, she was last seen on Sunday, July 8th, 2007 in the evening sometime between 8pm and 9pm, saying goodbye to a male friend near Sunnidale Park. She was supposed to be heading home. She would most likely have been heading South on Sunnidale Road, exiting the park, and then heading towards Wellington St. West. If you remember seeing anyone in the area around that time, or remember seeing her with someone, or anything suspicious please contact the Barrie Police Department or Crime Stoppers at immediately.

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Comments 11 comments

garynew profile image

garynew 6 years ago from Dallas, TX and Sampran, Thailand

These stories are so tragic, yet fascinating. She was the victim of a cold, calculating sadist. And protocol should be ignored when there's almost $1000 in cash in the victim's home!


Antonia Monacelli profile image

Antonia Monacelli 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks for your comment garynew, I agree. There is speculation that she might not have been killed immediately, and was possibly held captive. If that is the case, the knowledge that the police did not begin searching for her immediately is even more sickening.

On one hand, I can see them not jumping to the conclusion there was foul play immediately; the homicide rate in Barrie is very low, and the police don't deal with a lot of murders. I still think they still should have at least considered her disappearance suspicious, and began searching immediately.

On the other hand, even with the low homicide rate in Barrie, there are still quite a few unsolved murders in the area. The police department doesn't seem to have a high success rate in solving murders. It makes you question whether the police there are equipped to deal with these situations at all.


Leefer 5 years ago

I was raised in Orillia, and went to college and lived in Barrie. I was just reading crime stories and when I saw "Barrie" it caught my attention. This story hits too close to home and my heart goes out to the family. Maybe they should try calling upon a legit psychic?


Antonia Monacelli profile image

Antonia Monacelli 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I used to live in Barrie, and in fact she went missing just before I moved, and her body was found not long after. So it really hit close to home for me too. I can't imagine what it must be like for the family, still not knowing what happened to her, or who the monster who killed her is.

I think a lot of families are afraid to call psychics, because there are so many that are out to scam people, or are just delusional. I have read before that many people who think they are psychic usually try to contact the families of missing or murdered people, and then of course, the family gets their hopes up and are devastated when the supposed psychic says ridiculous things, or gives them no information. There are some genuinely good psychics they could reach out to, but there is a possibility the family doesn't believe in that kind of thing.


futonfraggle profile image

futonfraggle 5 years ago

Interesting hub. I never heard of this case. So, they found her, huh? How sad. Did they ever find her murderer?


Antonia Monacelli profile image

Antonia Monacelli 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks for your comment futonfraggle. Yes, it is really sad. No, unfortunately, they never did find her killer. They had a person of interest they were investigating, but obviously they couldn't obtain enough evidence to go any further.


LULU SUE1987 profile image

LULU SUE1987 5 years ago

Why do police always assume that the victim leave on their own. If they would take these crimes seriously from the beginning, maybe some would be saved.


jessica wilson 5 years ago

first of all my heart goes out to the family.i could not emagine such a loss being a mother myself.the police should take these things seriously to start with given the fact that so many of theses cases end bad.you would think they would do there job .people don't just up n leave everything n everyone they love .they just don't want to do there job.its so sad that ,this poor girls life was cut short she deseves justice and n the end god will grant her justice ,whoever did this to her will be judged and tried by god and then delt with swiftly.my prayers go out to her mother ,i pray that she can somehow find a little peace and comfort through god.


sars 4 years ago

sometimes when judging an aspect of a criminal situation, you need an outsider's perspective, one without empathy. but if anyone thinks the police did an acceptable job... imagine the shock, the hysteria, the heartbreak of looking upon your loved one's things in her absense, knowing full well something is very, very wrong, something horrible. and then the indignance of not having your worst nightmare blown off as if police could better determine whether or not anything was wrong at all. god, an experience like that would slay me, if you can forgive the expression.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 3 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

I have heard about this attitude from the police way too often. As a taxpayer, I would prefer that the police take every case seriously from the beginning, and I don't care if they waste our taxpayer dollars searching for someone unnecessarily, if it saves the life of just ONE missing person. A family would know better than the police when things just aren't right and the disappearance is out of character, and the police should always take them seriously. This is such a tragic story and my heart goes out to her family.


neens 2 years ago

A man has been charged and will be going to trial for her murder.

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2013/06/27/man-ac...

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