Toronto police say the human remains found in a construction dumpster outside a vacant home earlier this week belong to a little girl as young as four years old.
The girl is described as Black, of African or mixed-African decent, Detective Sergeant Renee Foley told reporters at a news conference after the autopsy report was published on Wednesday.
“We believe she was left in the area sometime between Thursday, April 28 at noon and Monday, May 2 at 4:45 p.m.,” he said.
The forensic pathologist believes she may have been deceased as early as last summer or fall, or perhaps earlier, Foley said.
Homicide investigators are now working to identify the little girl. “Our first priority now is to establish the identity of this little girl. The investigators will leave no stone unturned,” Insp. Hank Idsinga from the homicide and missing person’s unit said.
"We are investigating this death at its highest level just like a homicide investigation," Idsinga told reporters. "Kids don't just die."
According to police officials’ reports, the girl's body was found wrapped in a crocheted blanket inside a plastic bag, which too was wrapped in a colorful blanket in a dumpster used at a construction site of a vacant home in Rosedale, one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods.
Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, called the discovery an “unspeakable tragedy”.
Investigators are still gathering video from the two-week period in which they believe the girl's body was placed in the dumpster. Idsinga said there are no cameras that faced the dumpster directly, but police will be looking to piece together video of the surrounding area.
Residents had already turned the front of the property into an impromptu memorial for the child. Some had placed flowers, another a card that read “Little one, we pray heaven has dried your tears.”