Calves, arm and thigh found in Toronto, source says
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 10:43AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 20, 2012 6:17PM EDT
Investigators have confirmed that remains found over the weekend in Toronto belong to a human and show “obvious similarities” to severed body parts found in and around a river in Mississauga, Ont.
CTV News has learned from a police sources that the human remains found in the east end of Toronto on Saturday and Sunday consisted of two calves, an arm and a thigh.
Peel police Sgt. Pete Brandwood told reporters Monday that police have yet to identify a victim and cannot refer to the case as a homicide until a cause of death is established.
“Pathologically and forensically those things will take a bit of time to confirm,” he said.
The grisly investigation began last week along the Credit River in Mississauga’s Hewick Meadows Park, where a severed human head, foot and two hands were discovered.
Peel police began working with officers in Toronto last Saturday following two separate discoveries of remains in the east-end district of Scarborough.
Declining to elaborate on any observed similarities between the remains, Brandwood said police have yet to confirm “100 per cent” whether all the parts belong to the same victim.
A day after a man reported finding what appeared to be part of a human leg near a creek in Scarborough, a Toronto Star reporter said Sunday he discovered a bag containing “fatty tissue” and bone while he was taking pictures of the police search effort.
Police forensics investigators were also searching Room 39 at The Scarborough Inn Monday, which is near the location where the remains were found over the weekend.
The inn’s owner told CTV Toronto that police asked about someone who checked into the room around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. That man stayed in the room for only an hour before checking out, the inn owner said.
Police surmised last week that the severed foot located in the Credit River might belong to an adult female, after observing the size of the remains and yellow nail polish on the victim’s toes.
At the Monday morning news conference, Brandwood referred to the victim as a female.
Homicide detectives, he added, have been able to narrow down a pool of potential victims from missing persons cases within Peel Region and neighbouring jurisdictions.
“We hope to identify the victim as soon as possible,” he said.
Former FBI behavioural profiler Brad Garrett says dismemberment cases pose specific challenges to investigators, especially when it comes to identifying victims.
“Many times (investigators) have to rely on DNA or dental match. That takes longer typically than if you have just fingerprints,” he told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday.
Missing persons reports, said Garrett, are typically the first records police consult when attempting to identify a victim.
Afterwards, Garrett said investigators usually try to identify potential suspects by looking into cases with similar crime scenes or evidence.
On Monday afternoon, police continued their search in Mississauga, moving north along the banks of the river towards Streetsville Memorial Park.
Brandwood said he anticipated police will wrap up the search in and around Hewick Meadows Park by Monday evening.
“Having said that, if we discover in our search that there’s more information, there’s more evidence, there’s more body parts found, that will determine the expanse of our search,” Brandwood said.
With files from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe and Tamara Cherry