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Canadian Cops Arrested A Murder Suspect After Crowdsourcing A Cold Case Investigation On Twitter

Like Serial but in Canada.

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Canadian cops who drew inspiration from the podcast Serial have arrested and charged a man in relation to a 2012 murder after sharing clues to the case on Twitter.

Toronto police have charged Shawn Poirer, 30, with second-degree murder in the death of Mike Pimentel.Pimentel was stabbed to death early on New Year's Day in 2012 after leaving a party.
Toronto Police Service

Toronto police have charged Shawn Poirer, 30, with second-degree murder in the death of Mike Pimentel.

Pimentel was stabbed to death early on New Year's Day in 2012 after leaving a party.

Last year, on the third anniversary of Pimentel's death, Toronto police started sharing clues online in an attempt to revive the cold case.

Toronto Police Service

Detective Tam Bui and several others Serial fans on the Toronto police force decided sharing weekly clues to the case on Twitter would be a good way to gather new information and get people engaged in solving the crime.

Do you know this woman? She might hold the key to Mike Pimentel's murder newyear 2012 @ilibertyvillage #moretofollow

The information came pouring in.

“It was actually quite remarkable to see the amount of information that flowed back to us about those items," Homicide Staff Inspector Greg McLane said at a press conference announcing the arrest.

Toronto Police Service / Via youtube.com

Police say the case was solved directly as a result of online feedback.

Final clue in #mikepimentelmurder! MT @DetBuiHomicide: Who are these 2 ppl?Contact @TPSHomicide or anon @1800222TIPS.

“All of the investigators believed it was a solvable case because of the evidence collected,” Bui, the lead investigator on the case, said at a press conference in Toronto. “We just needed the help of the public to point us in the right direction and the public stepped up.”

Poirier was arrested in Calgary on a Canada-wide warrant for second-degree murder and returned to Toronto on Dec. 8 to face charges.

Pimentel's family thanked police for their work and said they were still learning to cope with their loss.

“He was an outgoing guy, very happy. He was never sad and everyone loved being around him,” Pimentel's sister Carla said. “It’s very sad, it’s heartbreaking.”
Toronto Police Service

“He was an outgoing guy, very happy. He was never sad and everyone loved being around him,” Pimentel's sister Carla said. “It’s very sad, it’s heartbreaking.”

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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