Human head found in cardboard box

Edmonton Police bag up a human head in an alley, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. (JESSE WHITNACK, SPECIAL...

Edmonton Police bag up a human head in an alley, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. (JESSE WHITNACK, SPECIAL TO QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

EDMONTON -- It was like a scene out of a horror movie.

Just steps away from her home, in a back alley, a local woman taking her dog for a walk around 6:30 Wednesday morning came across a package lying in the middle of the road. When she opened a cardboard box, she discovered a human head.

"It looked like a Halloween scene," said the woman who'd called police about the gruesome discovery. She was visibly shaken and declined to comment any further.

Down the road, Jesse Whitnack was having a cigarette on his third-floor balcony around 7:30 a.m. and saw a police officer with a dog walking up and down the alley. When the sun began to rise, the 30-year-old got a better glimpse at what police were doing. Soon, more officers arrived and surrounded the area with yellow police tape.

"I saw the cops putting a head into a bag. I didn't see the face. It definitely looked like hair, though," said Whitnack, who snapped a few photos of police conducting their work. "It looked like they just wanted to bag it and go."

By 10 a.m. police were already wrapping up the investigation and began taking down the yellow tape that had surrounded the scene. A few small spatters of blood and a large wet spot were visible on the pavement in the middle of the alley that was otherwise basically dry.

Roseanne Rochette lives a few doors down from where the discovery was made. She drove past the alley around 11:30 the previous night and noticed there was something obstructing the roadway.

Early this morning, police were banging on her front door.

"It was a large lump in the middle of the back alley," Rochette said. "I just thought it was garbage. I didn't think anything more of it."

QMI Agency has learned police believe the human head is related to a weekend homicide near Ranfurly, approximately 120 km east of Edmonton.

Around 8:30 Saturday night, Vermillion RCMP responded to a complaint of a sudden death of a male in a rural area near the hamlet.

Police have said little about the case, only confirming it was a homicide. But residents said the body was found headless, lying in a ditch near a running car about 2 km north of Highway 16, between Innisfree and Ranfurly.

The Dalwood neighbourhood in Edmonton has seen its share of violent crimes over the years, but the discovery of a human head in an alley not far from two elementary schools has left some residents shaken.

"To find something like that -- can you imagine? It's horrible. Is this the latest fad now - that somebody kills somebody and they just take them apart and chop them up?" said Eva Andrasi, whose husband Julius spoke with the woman that made the discovery. He said police wouldn't let anybody near the scene.

"I asked her, 'Do you know what happened?' and she told me," Juluis said. "The box had a bunch of bleach all over. It was a horror story."

pamela.roth@sunmedia.ca

@SUNpamelaroth


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