NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – A woman's torso found floating near the base of the Niagara Falls was likely in the water for up to 10 days, and the victim was murdered, police said Friday, as the discovery of a homicide victim's remains in a waterway made headlines in Canada for the second time in recent weeks.
Police said the latest case is not related to body parts found in Toronto earlier in August. The murder victims have gotten extra attention because of the case of porn actor Luka Magnotta, who is accused of dismembering a Chinese student in Montreal and mailing his body parts to political parties and a school earlier this year.
In Niagara Falls, Police Const. Derek Watson said a tourist spotted a torso near the base of the Falls on Wednesday and police pulled the body out just past the Rainbow Bridge.
Niagara Police Insp. Jim McCaffrey said the woman was a murder victim, but declined to reveal the cause of death. McCaffrey said authorities have asked police in New York and Ontario to review missing-person files.
Police say they are asking for help in identifying the body. A preliminary post-mortem indicated the torso belonged to a white woman between 20 and 40 years old and had a pierced navel and at least one cesarean section scar, the examination indicated.
McCaffrey said it's not uncommon to find body parts in the Niagara River. "That's pretty fast moving water and it does have an effect on bodies in the water," he said.
An emergency task unit, marine unit and the Niagara Parks Police high angle river team were being called on to search for the rest of the woman's remains, McCaffery said.
Watson said the search will not be easy.
"Given the unpredictable current and the bodies of water that flow into the Niagara River, it makes it impossible to even know where to start," Watson said.
Police said the body is not connected to the murder victim whose body parts were strewn in two different parts of the Toronto area. Liu Guanghua's head, foot and hands were discovered in a river west of Toronto earlier in mid-August. A few days later, her two calves, a thigh and an arm were found in a creek in eastern Toronto. Her torso remains missing. Her estranged boyfriend was charged with murder last week.
Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies contributed to this report from Toronto.