Acting Sgt. Paul Lamoureux

Foul play suspected as decomposed body of young woman found in Saanich park

Woman between ages of 18 and 28, police estimate

  • Jun. 13, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The decomposing body of a young woman was found Sunday near a trail in Colquitz River Park, mere hours after hundreds of people took part in a fun run nearby.

Saanich police were called to the park, just behind Tillicum Centre, around 2:15 p.m. June 12, after a young boy made the grisly discovery while walking with his dad.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen said Monday that foul play is suspected in the death of the woman, described as white and between the ages of 18 and 28.

Her identity is not yet confirmed, though police are hoping the results of an autopsy, scheduled for Tuesday, will help.

“This woman was exposed to the area, which is well tracked by wildlife and bugs,” Jantzen said, adding that the body had apparently been there for “some time,” given the state of decomposition. “At this point in time, it is difficult to assess any risk to the public, given that we don’t know who she is or how she died.”

Jantzen said investigators “have no idea what happened” or when the death occurred. That’s problematic for getting information from anyone who may have heard or seen something connected with this incident.

A neighbourhood canvas, typical in suspicious death investigations, may happen in this case, though the closest homes to the park are more than half a kilometre away.

Colquitz River Park, which abuts the more forested Cuthbert Holmes Park, was cordoned off by police all of Sunday and Monday. Police expected to have the park reopened by Wednesday.

“This investigation has been hampered by the length of time that the individual has been there,” he said, adding that another concern is the body was found in a densely overgrown part of the park.

Police will not say whether the body was clothed, or if there was any identification or personal effects found nearby.

“We are (aware of) the fact this park is used as a residence (for homeless people), on occasion,” Jantzen said, adding there is no evidence suggesting the woman was living in the park.

Colquitz River Park hosted the second annual KidsRun Sunday morning, though the body – which police say was not emanating a foul odour – was not noticed by any of the participants.

“It’s concerning for anybody,” said KidsRun organizer Mena Westhaver. “It could’ve resulted in a very upsetting situation for many children at the time,”

She estimated that nearly three-quarters of the 275 people who took part in the fundraiser for paediatric oncology were children.

Until the B.C. Corners Service has determined the cause of death, Jantzen said police have no reason to issue a public warning.

“The parks in Saanich are very safe,” he said. “We recommend that residents exercise vigilance and caution with regards to their own personal safety.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 250-475-4321.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD reunites four-year-old boy with family after he snuck out a window

The boy was spotted wandering alone on Wednesday morning

Camosun College to produce more than 9,000 face shields for Island Health workers

An innovative new design will allow for mass production of face shields for use across Canada

COVID-19: More than 120,000 B.C. food service jobs lost, restaurants begin to shutter permanently

Restaurants Canada estimates $3 billion sales drop due to pandemic

West Shore RCMP search for man wanted on 15 outstanding warrants

Steven Sandhu is believed to be living in View Royal

‘We’re running out of options’: Victoria looks to other municipalities to help shelter homeless

Victoria Curling Club, Crystal Pool ruled out as options for the 250 people remaining outside

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Most Read