Police looking to identify ‘intentionally dismembered’ victim after human remains found in Lake Ontario

Toronto Police are asking the public for help in identifying the victim of a gruesome crime. Brandon Rowe has the details.

Toronto police say scattered human remains found in Lake Ontario last year were part of the same dismembered body and are asking for the public’s help identifying the victim.

In an update on Tuesday morning, police say the investigation began when officers were called to Cherry Beach in downtown Toronto around 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 9 for reports of a suspicious event.

Investigators say a human thigh was discovered by a passerby near the water. A second thigh was found in the water by responding officers approximately 150 metres away.

On Oct. 30, a Toronto police marine unit was patrolling Toronto’s outer harbour when officers discovered a human torso in the water. Police say the torso was wearing a small T-shirt with a generic necklace and was wrapped in a black garbage bag.

Investigators have released photos of the necklace.

Police believe the person died 24 to 48 hours before the thighs were discovered on Oct. 9. They also say the body parts were believed to have been placed in the water several hours before they were found.

DNA testing confirmed the thighs and torso belonged to the same person and an autopsy revealed that the person was “intentionally dismembered.”

Police are still not ruling the death a homicide, saying they are still trying to determine how the individual died.

“This is being treated with the highest level of suspicion,” said Det. Sgt. Tiffany Castell from the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit. “Should we determine that there is something more to this investigation, we will not hesitate to take the lead on it.”

“We need the public’s assistance identifying this individual.”

A forensic team has put together a profile of the deceased person. Police describe them as a male, 21 to 28-years-old with light brown hair, a tan complexion, an average lean build, and black body hair. The victim is believed to have been between five feet three inches and five feet nine inches tall.

Investigators say the discovered body parts did not have any distinctive scars, marks, or tattoos.

“I appreciate that the information is quite broad in spectrum, but it’s the best (we) have at this time,” said Acting Supt. Kathlin Seremetkovski.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Homicide and Missing Person Unit at 416-808-5100 or by using the dedicated tip email at help51@tps.ca.

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