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UPDATE: Autopsy Wednesday for possible North Van homicide victim
Homicide investigators believe human remains found Saturday in a North Vancouver neighbourhood may be those of a murder victim because the body appears to have been intentionally hidden from view.
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team were called to an area just off a gravel foot path in the 2000-block of Curling Road Sunday morning after the North Vancouver RCMP confirmed human remains were found there the night before.
The advanced decomposition of the body has left investigators in the dark as to the age, gender and identity of the victim, but it does suggest the person has likely been dead for some time.
The BC Coroners Service was scheduled to perform an autopsy on the remains Wednesday, but it could be weeks before any results come back.
“There are many unanswered questions in these early stages and much of the details of the findings can’t be released at this time as we are pursuing this as a homicide investigation, “ said IHIT spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound in a press release on Monday.
Pound told The Outlook, however, that because the body appears to have been intentionally hidden from sight, the victim may have met with foul play.
“It looks as though someone attempted to conceal the body, so it appears more suspicious than just finding human remains in the bush,” Pound said.
Police would not confirm whether the remains were buried in the ground or concealed in some other manner.
Neighbours in the 2000-block of Curling Road told reporters at the scene that the area behind the Travelodge motel on Marine Drive where the body was found is frequented by transient people and drug users.
IHIT remained on-scene Monday afternoon with the BC Coroners Service, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section and a forensic entomologist, who studies insects found on human remains to determine a person’s time of death.
If the remains prove to be those of a murder victim, it will be North Vancouver’s first homicide of 2012.
Neighborhood canvassing continued throughout the day Monday and investigators were expected to remain on-scene during the week to complete their processing of the site.
The foot path from Belle Isle Place to Curling Road remains closed.
IHIT is asking anyone who may have information about this homicide to come forward and speak with investigators.