Homicide unit investigating possible human remains found in Vanier

Police were called to the scene Wednesday afternoon after construction crews digging on site discovered what are believed to be human remains. (Melanie Campeau/CBC - image credit)
Police were called to the scene Wednesday afternoon after construction crews digging on site discovered what are believed to be human remains. (Melanie Campeau/CBC - image credit)

The Ottawa police homicide unit is investigating after possible human remains were dug up at a construction site in Vanier on Wednesday afternoon.

A police spokesperson said in an email Thursday that officers were called to a construction site on Deschamps Avenue near Desrosiers Street, not far from the Vanier Parkway, at about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday.

"Digging at the location uncovered what are believed to be human remains," police said.

Police didn't elaborate on what exactly was found, but two low-rise apartment buildings at 143 and 147 Deschamps were taped off. They said early Thursday afternoon forensic identification work was underway.

Melanie Campeau/CBC
Melanie Campeau/CBC
Melanie Campeau/CBC
Melanie Campeau/CBC

In an email statement, the building owners and AS Management Inc., the property management company, would not provide any further information to CBC "as the investigation is ongoing."

Krista Barratt, whose backyard borders the construction site, said she's been told her yard is a part of the scene and she can't go in it.

"[There were] a lot of police and people watching around, and then the coroner. They had body bags and they blocked off my backyard," she said.

Melanie Campeau/CBC
Melanie Campeau/CBC

Neighbourhood on edge

According to Barratt and other neighbours, the buildings had been vacant for several years. Construction on the site had been ongoing and crews recently started digging on the property until Wednesday's discovery,

"[It's] scary," said Barratt. "We don't know what's there or who they are, and what happened, so it's kind of scary."

Charlotte Taylor, a nearby neighbour and member of a local neighbourhood group, said nearby residents are "very concerned."

"We realize it's going to take a while before anybody finds anything out, but the more I think about it, the more I'm getting anxiety about it," she said.

Melanie Campeau/CBC
Melanie Campeau/CBC