Seeking Help Identifying Human Remains

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair

Writer/Photographer

51 Division
Homicide and Missing Persons Unit

Note the details of this story can be disturbing:

Toronto Police investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying human remains found at Cherry Beach.

On October 9, 2023 at around 10:19 a.m., police responded to a call for a suspicious event and located a human thigh near the water’s edge. Shortly after, another thigh was found nearly 150 metres away in the water.

A week later while patrolling the outer Toronto harbour near Lake Ontario, Marine Unit officers saw a human torso in the water.

Partially wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag, it had a light colour size small T-shirt and a necklace.

Neither the thighs or torso have any distinctive scars, marks or tattoos. 

At a news conference at police headquarters on May 5, Acting Superintendent Kathlin Seremetkovski of 51 Division, said DNA testing confirmed that the body parts belonged to the same individual.

“Furthermore, the autopsy revealed that the human remains that were located had been intentionally dismembered,” she said. “Earlier this year, we received from a forensic pathologist with a profile of the individual.”

It is believed the individual was male, 21-28 years old, with a light brown, tan complexion, an average to lean build, and black body hair. He is believed to have been 5'6" tall, plus or minus 3.5 inches.

The individual died within approximately 24-48 hours of the thighs being discovered on October 9, 2023.

Two people stand at and near a podium with TPS logo
Detective Sergeant Tiffany Castell and Acting Superintendent Kathlin Seremetkovski speak to the media in an attempt to identify the human remains Photo: Kevin Masterman

Seremetkovski said 51 Division and the Homicide & Missing Persons Unit are working tirelessly to make an identification and find out what happened to the deceased.

“We have conducted comprehensive searches of the national database of Missing Persons for somebody who matches that profile,” she said. “That is why we are here today seeking the public’s assistance in trying to identify who this person is. This person is a family member, friend, a co-worker and an acquaintance. If someone knows who this individual is or someone knows what took place, we are asking you to reach out to us.”

Detective Sergeant Tiffany Castell of the Homicide & Missing Persons Unit, said the investigation is being treated as an indignity to a human body at this time but investigators are following all evidence.

“Because we only have a torso and thighs with no distinguishing marks or tattoos, it has made it quite difficult for us to identify this individual,” she said. “I can assure members of the public that we are working with 51 Division to ensure that the requisite number of resources are being engaged and that this is being treated with the highest level of suspicion. At this point, we do not know how this individual died and that is why it is not being treated as a homicide.”

The investigation is being led by 51 Division with the support of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100 or by using the dedicated tip email at [email protected].

Individuals can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or at www.222tips.com.

Contact Corporate Communications

416-808-7100
40 College St., Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
Location of the contact address on the map

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