The detective tasked with uncovering how a child died and ended up in a Haldimand County waterway says the OPP is using all available resources to close the case.
Det. Insp. Shawn Glassford told Global News he hopes the results of a recent autopsy in Toronto and advice from the public will help investigators piece together some sort of circumstance that sheds light on what happened.
“With the expertise of the doctors in pathology services in Toronto to the doctors who are at SickKids helping out, we’re doing everything in our power, everything we can, everything that’s available to us,” Glassford said. .
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The girl’s body was discovered by two fishermen in the waters of the Grand River in Dunnville, Ont., on Tuesday near what police describe as a “bog island.”
In a statement, police said the men were traveling along this island and saw the remains, initially believing it to be an animal.
Emergency crews say they went to the river bank just before 1.30pm on May 17 and recovered the toddler’s body. She is believed to be between 10 and a half months and two and a half years old.
“As far as her time in the river, that’s still under review,” Glassford remarked.
“We are looking at a lot of things. We look at the flow of the river, the temperature of the water. All of these things come into play in trying to figure this out.
The OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch is investigating and treating the discovery as a homicide.
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However, Glassford says he does not believe she died of natural causes.
Extensive shoreline searches have been carried out and surveys of residents near the town of 12,000, as well as a number of campgrounds, are underway.
Detectives say tips have also arrived from as far away as the United States since a hotline was activated.
The division has information it is withholding to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
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The potential clues they hope to receive are scenarios in which an individual or family suddenly leaves a residence or neighborhood.
“Anyone who knew a family, whether neighbors or landlords, and that family left … (in) a bit of a rush,” Glassford said.
“Maybe the circumstances weren’t that suspicious back then, but now, in light of what’s going on, maybe it’s making people think about it.”
The Ontario Provincial Police Hotline can be reached at 1-844-677-9403.
Anonymous information can always be called into Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.helpsolvecrime.com
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