T.O. police probe suspicious package close to where remains were found
Published Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:24PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 19, 2012 6:29PM EDT
A suspicious package has been found in northeast Toronto, close to where suspected human remains were discovered on Saturday.
Toronto Police Const. Wendy Drummond confirmed to CTVToronto.ca that the package was found at 1:30 p.m. and the coroner’s office as well as anthropologists were called to the scene, where they continue to investigate.
Drummond said the items in the package were taken to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for further testing. However, she could not say what was found inside the package.
CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe said the package was discovered by a photographer and “fleshy material” was found inside.
“At this time it’s still unclear whether the remains are human or animal,” she said.
An investigation is ongoing in Scarborough after remains were located near Kennedy Road and Bonis Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
Jackie Crandles of CP24 told CTV News Channel on Sunday that while police have not said if the remains found along the West Highland Creek are human, “it’s strongly believed they are.”
Cameron James alerted police to the remains on Saturday. He told CTV Toronto he found what appeared to be a severed portion of a human leg.
“It didn’t look like anything disgusting, it just smelled bad,” said James. “And because of what I heard on the news lately, I put two and two together.”
According to Toronto police, the coroner’s office will determine if the discoveries made in Scarborough are connected to the body parts investigation in Mississauga.
Since Wednesday, a severed human foot, head and two hands were discovered near the edge of the Credit River in Mississauga’s Hewick Meadows Park.
The investigation into severed human remains discovered along the Credit River entered its fifth day Sunday, as police continued to scour the area for more evidence.
On Sunday a team of 30 officers searched the area within a four-kilometre radius of where the foot was discovered.
Investigators have also discovered flip flops and running shoes in the area that they said could be part of the evidence.
“Police are leaving no stone unturned,” said Crandles. “It’s a vast area with water, rough terrain and dense trees.”
The body parts have been sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto. The results will give investigators more clues as to the identity of the victim and how long the body parts were hidden before they were discovered.
Investigators estimate that it could take another week before a pathology report is complete.
Const. George Tudos of the Peel Police told reporters that the investigation is a first for the police force.
“This is pretty horrific, I mean it’s not something common at all within our jurisdiction,” he said. “This is probably one of the most, I guess, horrific findings that we’ve had here.”
Heavy rains hit the area earlier in the week, police noted, possibly pushing additional evidence downstream. A marine team has been scouring the water, while dozens of officers have searched the surrounding area on foot.
The Credit River begins north of Caledon and empties into Lake Ontario. Police said it’s possible the remains may have drifted down the river from where they were originally discarded.
Without a definitive cause of death, police are reluctant to label the grisly discovery a murder, but said “foul play” is involved. Investigators have not confirmed whether all of the dismembered parts belong to the same body, but said a connection is likely.
Yellow nail polish on the foot led investigators to believe the victim was a woman.
Meanwhile, homicide detectives said Friday that they’re looking into all missing person cases within Peel region and neighbouring jurisdictions.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe