Second-degree murder charges laid in death of Hamilton woman


Published July 3, 2024 at 10:26 am

Niagara Police

A Hamilton man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a woman discovered in the Town of Lincoln in Niagara last month.

Jessica Lynn St. Jules’ body was found in a rural area of Lincoln June 8. Niagara Police homicide investigators determined the 27-year-old Hamilton woman was last seen getting into a vehicle near the Hamilton Public Library on Barton Street East at approximately 4:20 a.m. that morning.

The vehicle was described as a 2018-2020 Dodge Grand Caravan, granite in colour and Niagara Police put out a call to the public for help in finding the van and its driver. Footage from CCTV cameras were able to identify the driver, described as having a large build and wearing a distinctive red top with a white stripe.

Pedro Benitez Leal, 20, was arrested Tuesday and will face a judge Wednesday at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.

Detectives thanked the media and members of the public for their assistance with the investigation.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact investigators at (905) 688-4111, option 3, ext. 1009482.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477.  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information which leads to an arrest.

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