August 31, 2012
Identity of dismembered woman still not known
By Ray Spiteri, QMI Agency
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - While police have ruled out a connection to the dismemberment killing of Guang Hua Lui in Toronto, they are investigating whether the female torso found in the Niagara River is that of someone who’s been reported missing.
Police said Friday they are investigating around 20 missing persons cases from across Ontario as they try to figure out the identity of a woman.
“We have called on our police partners throughout the province and they have provided us with a number of cases, which we are reviewing,” NRP Insp. Jim McCafferry said during a press conference to discuss the homicide Friday afternoon. “There are still police departments that have to respond to us. We still anticipate more coming in.”
The remains of the middle-aged Caucasian woman were spotted floating in the water near the Rainbow Bridge by a tourist on the Maid of the Mist on Wednesday afternoon, and were recovered by parks police.
Police said the victim was between her mid 20s and late 40s. She had a pierced navel, and there is indication she had at least one caesarean section and her tubes were tied, police said.
McCaffery said it’s estimated the torso had been in the water between four and 10 days.
“Further tests are being conducted at the Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Chief Coroner’s Office in Toronto to assist in identifying the deceased and the post-mortem examination is continuing at this time,” he said. “It’s important to identify this person to bring closure to family members, and to hold those responsible accountable for this crime.”
McCaffery said police are not prepared to release the cause of death, although they are satisfied, based on their investigation to date, it is the result of a homicide.
He also said they haven’t determined where the torso was dumped from.
“We have conducted an examination of the immediate area where the body was found, but we cannot accurately assess where the body went in.”
Det. Sgt. Brian Smith said more tests on the torso still need to be done, while more evidence needs to be examined. He said the torso was recovered from the river, on the Canadian side, within 15 minutes of being spotted. Dangerous water currents below the Falls mean police can’t send in divers to look for more body parts, so the search will be confined to boats and along the shore, police Chief Doug Kane said.
“It’s just too risky,” Kane said.
Parks police officers are regularly called to the river to recover the bodies of suicide victims, some of which have been in the water for lengthy periods of time. But the circumstances of this case are far different, police said.
Investigators and forensic experts were able to “positively confirm that this incident is not related to the investigation involving the murder of Guang Hua Liu.”
Some body parts belonging to Liu, 41, of Toronto, were found starting Aug. 15 in separate locations in a Mississauga, Ont., park and the northeast Toronto suburb of Scarborough. Some of Liu’s remains are still unaccounted for. Chun Qi Jiang, 40, is charged with second-degree murder in that case.
He was asked if the NRP believes the Niagara River case was part of a game of copy cat, given the recent publicity surrounding the alleged Luka Magnotta and Peel dismemberment cases.
“We have no indication that these are connected in any way,” he said.