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Suspect identified in 1983 disappearance of Mary Hammond

Brantford Police ServiceSuspect identified in 1983 disappearance of Mary Hammond

Thirty-nine years after the disappearance of Mary Hammond, detectives with the Brantford Police Service identified a man believed to be responsible in a press conference on Wednesday, June 8.

On September 8, 1983, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Mary Emma Hammond (nee Bisenthal) left her townhouse on Elgin St., to walk to work. Mary was scheduled to work the early morning shift at the former Buns Master Bakery, at 110 Morton Avenue, where she had worked for approximately one year.

Walking north on Park Road North (now Wayne Gretzky Parkway) she passed the Massey-Ferguson factory and cut across the field towards the rear of the bakery.

At approximately 4:00 a.m., a co-worker called Mary’s husband asking why she had not arrived at work. Mary’s footprints were followed to the property line at the rear of the bakery and to a point where Mary cut across a field where they then disappeared.

Police were notified. Evidence at the scene included some items from her lunch: a cup, a dish, and a half-eaten apple. One of Mary’s white sockettes and a small quantity of blood were located in an area of the field.

At the time of her disappearance, Mary Hammond was 25 years old, 5’10”, 140 lbs., with long straight reddish-brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion. Mary was last seen wearing a blue, mauve, and red lumber jacket, blue jeans, a yellow t-shirt, and white Adidas running shoes with a silver stripe.

Through continued investigation, police were able to identify evidence in Mary Hammond’s disappearance. This evidence has helped investigators over the years to identify people who may have been involved in Mary’s disappearance.

On September 11, 1983, during the initial stages of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at a Memorial Drive residence. Evidence seized at this time was examined and remained in police custody. 

Through this historical evidence seized and with advancements in mitochondrial DNA analysis, investigators were able to forensically link Mary Hammond to a man believed to be responsible for her abduction and murder. 

Mitochondrial DNA analysis is an investigative tool that is relatively new to policing. Thru additional investigation, research, and interviews, utilizing this tool can lead to the identification of persons of interest in historical cases such as this. 

As a result of the ongoing investigation, detectives with the Brantford Police Service have identified Stephen MUDKO as the individual believed to be responsible for the abduction and murder of Mary Hammond. 

Steven Mudko has been named a suspect in the disappearance of Mary Hammond, 39 years after her abduction. Photo courtesy Brantford Police Service.

At the time of Mary’s disappearance, MUDKO was 36-years-of-age and resided in a home on Memorial Drive in Brantford.

Stephen MUDKO died on June 23, 2010. However, if he were alive today and able to stand trial, he would face the following charges:

  • Abduction
  • Murder – 1st Degree

The Brantford Police Service are releasing a historical photograph of Steven MUDKO in the hopes that it may provide additional information which could help further this investigation.

The whereabouts of Mary Hammond are still unknown. Although a suspect has been identified, detectives believe that additional individuals may still have information or knowledge related to the disappearance of Mary Hammond. This investigation is ongoing. 

As a result of the advancements in technology and forensic sciences, the continued dedication of our officers, and information from our community, the Brantford Police Service is one step closer to being able to determine what happened to Mary Hammond and bring closure to her family. 

Anyone with information regarding Mary Hammond’s disappearance is asked to contact the Mary HAMMOND tip line to leave a voicemail for investigators at 519-756-0113 ext. 2800, or email HammondDisappearance@police.brantford.on.ca

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