OPP and Orangeville police investigators are looking at some particular types of work boots as they seek the public's help in identifying who killed nurse Sonia Varaschin.

At a news conference on Wednesday in Orangeville, they displayed four different sets of work boots -- two made by Dakota and two by WindRiver.

They are sized 10 or 11. The two brands are sold exclusively through Mark's Work Wearhouse. There is one outlet of the chain in Orangeville. Two others are located in Alliston and Bolton.

Varaschin was reported missing on Aug. 30. The 42-year-old had failed to report to work at a Mississauga pharmaceutical company. Police found her bloodied Toyota Corolla less than 500 metres from her townhouse.

On Sunday morning, someone out walking their dog in a wooded area 12 kilometres southeast of Orangeville found human remains believed to be those of Varaschin. An autopsy confirmed that, and concluded her death was a homicide.

Authorities also examined Varaschin's townhouse and said they found blood on the front steps and front door, as well as inside the home.

OPP Det. Insp. Mark Pritchard noted that the public helped find Varaschin's body, and they can play an equally important role in identifying her killer.

"Last week, through the media, we asked the public to be our eyes and our ears in locating Sonia," said Pritchard.

"We believe that Sonia's killer is very familiar with Orangeville, with the outskirts of Orangeville, Sonia's neighbourhood, Sonia's townhouse -- and potentially Sonia herself," he added.

Pritchard said they want to hear from anyone who knows someone who:

  • wears boots like the ones shown above
  • is familiar with the Orangeville area
  • came home on Aug. 30 with unexplained staining on their clothing or their boots
  • has since discarded these boots or does so after today's announcement
  • or has purchased new boots since Aug. 30 for work-related reasons

"A friend, co-worker or spouse will hold the key to solving this crime," Pritchard said. "Anyone who has any doubts or any suspicions is encouraged to call the police so we can look into the matter."

Pritchard said there is nothing to indicate that there is more than one suspect involved in Varaschin's murder.

"I don't believe that it was a random event. We may not know that until we've identified the killer," he said, adding there was no sign of forced entry to Varaschin's home.

A man who claimed to be Varaschin's ex-boyfriend, but who would not give his name, said Wednesday that Varaschin "was a fantastic girl," who would never have knowingly put herself in danger.

"All I can tell you is she's a really good girl," the man, who said he dated Varaschin 12 years ago, told CTV Toronto's John Musselman outside the Varaschin family home in Bolton.

"Whoever did it, I suspect, she had to know. She wasn't the type of girl to let a stranger in. It just doesn't make sense."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Orangeville Police Service tip line at (519) 941-2522, ext. 2211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).