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Police release details on suspected North Vancouver homicide victim
Homicide investigators say the body found last month in a North Vancouver neighbourhood belonged to a young woman they hope the public can identify.
On Wednesday, the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team released a photo of the victim's teeth, details of the clothing she wore, as well as a sketch of what coroners believe she would have looked like.
Initially, the advanced decomposition of the victim's body left investigators in the dark as to the approximate age and gender of the victim.
Police now believe the body is that of a small-framed woman in her mid-twenties to early-fortes, ranging from five-feet two-inches to five-feet six-inches tall with shoulder-length wavy black hair. A photo of the victim's teeth shows some visible dental work on the upper front teeth, which police say would have appeared as disclourations noticeable to anyone close to her.
The victim also appears to have sustained a broken back in the months, if not years, before her death. Police say two of her mid-back vertebrae were broken and could have required an emergency room visit or several days of bed rest, non-surgical care or a brace.
When found, the victim was wearing black VS Miss brand skinny jeans and brown Adidas slip-on shoes, items that police say appear to be sold exclusively in Europe and on-line.
“Somewhere out there is a family waiting for this young woman to come home," said IHIT spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound in a press release Wednesday. "We need the public to help us identify her and assist investigators in moving this investigation forward."
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team were initially called to an area just off a gravel foot path in the 2000-block of Curling Road on Aug. 19 after the North Vancouver RCMP confirmed human remains were found there the night before.
IHIT investigators believe foul play was involved in the woman's death because her body was intentionally hidden from view.
“It looks as though someone attempted to conceal the body, so it appears more suspicious than just finding human remains in the bush,” Pound told The Outlook on Aug. 19.
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.
If the remains prove to be those of a murder victim, it will be North Vancouver’s first homicide of 2012.
IHIT is asking anyone who may have information about this homicide to come forward and speak to investigators.