SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Police west of Toronto say they have found two severed hands in their search for body parts in a Mississauga river where a head and a foot had previously been discovered.
"The likelihood of it being the same person is, common-sense wise, probably pretty high," said Sgt. Pete Brandwood of Peel Regional Police, the force responsible for the area that includes Mississauga.
He said during a mid-afternoon news conference that one hand was found near the foot but downstream on the Credit River, while the other hand was a considerable distance downstream, though he couldn't say specifically how far. Both hands, a left and a right, were found early Friday afternoon.
Police also made a third discovery during the afternoon, but the coroner later determined it was animal remains.
At an earlier news conference, Const. George Tudos said "at this point we're no closer to identifying the victim," but added that police hope tests at the Centre for Forensic Sciences will provide more information. The hands have been sent to the centre.
Investigators believe the body parts were severed in the last few weeks, adding there's no evidence of a connection to the case of Luka Rocco Magnotta, who is accused of the murder and dismemberment of a Montreal student.
"There is no evidence at all to indicate that there is any connection to that incident," Tudos said.
Friday's search of the water, parklands and surrounding rocky hills, involving dozens of officers, began to wrap up around 7 p.m. Tudos said the search will continue on the weekend.
"We're just hoping that the weather plays a role here to assist us and that we can complete this investigation and have some answers," he said, noting that identifying the victim is a priority.
1st body part discovered Wednesday
Investigators found the head late Thursday morning about a kilometre north of the spot at Hewick Meadows Park where the foot was discovered. Police can't say if the body parts were placed where they were found or if they drifted there from another point upstream in the river, which flows from headwaters above the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario.
Investigators have also not yet been able to confirm if the foot and head belonged to the same person.
The foot was discovered Wednesday by a group of people who had been hiking in the park near Eglinton Avenue West and Mississauga Road. They spotted it in the shallows of the Credit River, which runs through the park, police said.
A coroner later confirmed it was a human right foot with painted yellow toenails that had been severed from the ankle down.
The presence of yellow nail polish has led police to suspect the foot belonged to a woman.
Police have said the head doesn't appear to be that of a child, and appears to be female.
Tudos said at the Friday morning news conference that investigators hope the examination by the forensics team will provide them with "DNA, size, height and weight" of the victim.
Officers are also sifting through missing person reports.—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — A severed head has been found near where a human foot was located in the Credit River just west of Toronto, police say, and they are looking for more missing limbs.
Peel Regional Police said the discovery of the decomposing head was found in a Mississauga, Ont., park shortly after noon Thursday. The body parts belong to a woman and foul play is obviously suspected.
“We have located the severed head of a female,” Acting Insp. Randy Cowan said.
“We will be taking our direction from the coroner and continue our search. We’ll be looking for the entire victim.”
Hikers at Hewick Meadows Park found a right human foot floating in the river around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The head was found roughly 1 km upstream from where the foot was located, Cowan said.
Police are not releasing details on the description of the severed head, including race.
“We can’t confirm (the two body parts are connected),” he said. “That will have to be done through scientific testing, but common sense tells us this is most likely related.”
The decomposition of the body parts suggest they weren’t in the river for months. Likely, the longest would be several weeks, Cowan said.
The size of the remains suggest they do not belong to a small child, police said.
The coroner was called shortly after the head was found.
“We don’t have a cause of death and without a cause of death, we can’t call it a homicide,” Cowan said.
Police are hoping that releasing specifics detail of the yellow nail polish on the toenails of the foot will help bring in tips to identify the woman.
There was no footwear or clothing covering the foot, police added.
Cadaver dogs, dive teams and the marine unit are combing the area.
“We have to take into account the amount of the rain, the flow of the river ... we don’t know if these items are placed there or washed away from another site,” Cowan said.
Hewick Meadows Park is an expansive area bounded by highway traffic and residential homes.
While residents should be more alert of any suspicious discoveries they find in this neighbourhood, police said they shouldn’t be concerned they’re in danger.—www.shafaqna.com/english