Severed head, foot found along Ontario river
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) – Police are combing an Ontario river on Friday after a severed head and foot were found in and near the waterway this week.
“We have a foot and a head at this point. We’ll be looking for the entire victim,” acting Inspector Randy Cowan of the Peel Regional Police told reporters Thursday in a news conference near the Credit River in Mississauga.
Cowan said the head was that of a woman and the foot had painted toenails, leading authorities to suspect it was also from a woman. However, tests would be needed to conclude they were from the same victim, he said. The foot was found Wednesday and the head on Thursday.
“Common sense tells us this is most likely related,” he said.
A cause of death had not been determined, Cowan said.
“Without a cause of death we can’t call it homicide, but certainly foul play — there’s definitely something amiss,” Cowan told reporters.
The inspector said the body parts were likely from an adult.
“The size of the remains would indicate it is not a child,” he said. Decomposition meant the race of the remains could not immediately be determined, he said.
The remains were found about a kilometer apart along the river, which runs near Hewick Meadows Park in the city of 700,000 west of Toronto not far from Lake Ontario. Cowan said they had likely been in the river for a short time, weeks on the high end.
Police were checking into missing persons cases from the immediate area and others upriver for leads into the case, Cowan said.
The area around where the body parts were found is a quiet residential one, according to a report from CNN affiliate CBC.
The Mississauga case is the second involving body parts to make big headlines in Canada this year.
In May, a human foot was mailed to the headquarters of the ruling Conservative Party in Ottawa. Remains, but not an entire body, were also found by a janitor behind a Montreal apartment building.
Luka Rocco Magnotta, a 29-year-old porn actor, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in that case in June. He pleaded not guilty.
Body parts linked to the Magnotta case were also mailed to schools in British Columbia, according to authorities.