Police issue new appeal in case of trucker found shot to death
Twenty years ago Wednesday, Michael Lovejoy was found murdered in his truck along Highway 403.
The case has never been solved.
Lovejoy – a resident of Flint, Mich. – was driving a tractor-trailer for RTS Transport.
He had left out of Buffalo on April 8, 1994, bound for a delivery of axles to a Michigan business via Ontario.
That afternoon, witnesses saw him pull onto the westbound shoulder of Highway 403 in Brantford, about 1.4 kilometres east of Wayne Gretzky Parkway.
About 24 hours later, he was found dead in the sleeper portion of his truck, which was still parked on the shoulder.
He had been shot several times.
His shoes and socks were on the floor of the vehicle, and the alarm on his wristwatch was set for 5:30 p.m.
His wallet was undisturbed, as was the cargo in his trailer.
Police received more than 300 tips. None of them panned out.
“Investigators spoke to numerous persons, from Canada and the U.S.,” says Brantford Police Const. Natalie Laing.
“The case wasn’t solved.”
Investigators did receive several reports of a tractor-trailer with similar markings to Lovejoy’s being parked behind his vehicle in the hours after he first left the highway, as well as a man walking from Lovejoy’s truck to the other one.
That man has never been identified.
Twenty years later, a new detective has taken on the case. Police hope a new set of eyes will help bring closure to Lovejoy’s family.
“What is driving this investigation is the family being a voice for Michael Lovejoy. His mother, his sister, his children – they want closure,” says Laing.
Police hope new technology may point them in the direction of Lovejoy’s killer.
Handwritten notes from 1994 are being digitized and entered into a centralized police database, which will then search for connections to other cases.
“If there’s any cross-reference to any other police service’s current or historical investigation, that will link it up and notify the investigator,” says Laing.
Mike Foster has spent the past 23 years as a trucker, the last 16 of those working for Challenger Motor Freight.
He drove through Brantford on Wednesday, and said that no matter where the job takes him, safety is always a paramount concern.
“You have to make sure that you park in a safe facility and take all the necessary precautions,” he says.
“When you’re off on the side of the road, you’re more vulnerable.”
Anyone with information regarding the murder of Michael Lovejoy is asked to contact Brantford Police Det. Kyle Barnes at 519-756-0113 ext. 2266.