Police locate two hands downstream from where head and foot recovered
Chris Fox, cp24.com
Published Friday, August 17, 2012 5:36AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 17, 2012 11:10PM EDT
Peel police have located two human hands downstream from where a foot and head were previously recovered.
Sgt. Pete Brandwood made the announcement to reporters Friday afternoon as officers continued to scour the Credit River, near Eglinton Avenue and Mississauga Road, for additional body parts.
“Within the last couple hours our search team has discovered and seized both a left hand and a right hand and it is our common sense conclusion that they are likely associated to the foot and head found previously,” Brandwood said. “Both hands have now been taken to the Centre for Forensic Sciences in an attempt to identify the victim.”
Brandwood said the first hand was spotted by investigators near where a foot was found by hikers Wednesday and the second one was found “considerably further downstream” about an hour later.
At around 3 p.m. investigators also found another piece of evidence that Brandwood said could be human remains, but forensic investigators now say that it is just animal remains.
Regardless, Brandwood said it's clear that foul play has occured.
“Someone’s mother, aunt, sister or friend has met with foul play and our main priority is that the family gets some closure,” he said.
No link to Magnotta
Earlier on Friday Peel police held a news conference to say there is “no evidence” suggesting the body parts are tied to accused killer Luka Magnotta nor is there any evidence that points to them belonging to a missing 16-year-old girl from Brampton.
“I know that there has been a lot of concern over this incident and that there is a lot of speculation and scenarios that are out there and I want to address two of them,” Const. George Tudos said. “First, there is no evidence at all to indicate that there is any connection to the Luka Magnotta incident that happened in Montreal. There is also another scenario with regards to a missing Brampton female by the name of Mila Johnson. Our homicide investigators have spoken to the family and at this point there is no connection between that missing person’s investigation and our human remains investigation.”
Johnson was last seen on Aug. 3 leaving her home in the area of Kennedy Road and Queen Street.
Magnotta, meanwhile, is in police custody in Montreal awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the videotaped dismemberment of Concordia University student Jun Lin.
About 30 to 50 officers are continuing to search Hewick Meadows Park and a segment of the Credit River for additional body parts.
Tudos said the search could take weeks and will utilize the services of divers from the Peel police marine unit and cadaver sniffing dogs.
“We will be at this as long as we need to be,” he said. “Just for this area here alone will take us a few days and we will have to expand from that point on.”
Forensic testing on the head and foot is also underway, Tudos added, and Peel police are hopeful that testing will help them determine the age, weight and even height of the victim.
Meanwhile, police are scouring missing person’s reports throughout the greater region as they await the results of those tests.
“I know that this morning when I spoke to homicide investigators they told me that today they would be focusing on all missing persons cases within our region and within other regions and jurisdictions as well,” Tudos says. “We are not limiting ourselves to any small perimeter. We are going wherever we can to try and solve this case.”
Police also want to hear from people who find anything suspicious along the Credit River, which flows from the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3205 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
With files from CP24’s Cam Woolley
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