Winnipeg police recover a body found in plastic bags floating in the Red River Friday afternoon. The body was found by a homeowner who noticed the bag floating near a set of steps to the river.
Credits: Submitted photo
WINNIPEG - City police are continuing to be tight-lipped on whether a body found in the Red River on Friday was a homicide victim, and are not confirming even that it was wrapped in plastic while floating, as witnesses in the area reported.
Patrol Sgt. Monica Stothers from the Winnipeg police said Saturday that cops won't confirm the nature of their investigation into the grisly discovery in the city's North Kildonan neighbourhood until they get results of an autopsy in the coming days.
"The autopsy still has to be done," Stothers said, "to see what direction this investigation is going to go."
She wasn't certain when the autopsy will be performed, but said "it will be early next week."
The gender and age of the deceased won't be determined until the body is examined at that time, she added.
Stothers added that she couldn't yet say for certain that the body had been purposely wrapped in plastic.
"Everyone is saying it was found in a bag," she said. "But it could have been caught in debris in the river. Who knows how long the body was floating? We're not confirming it was in a bag."
A homeowner had spotted the body, which he said was completely tied up in plastic as it floated about 10 a.m. along the city's boundary with East St. Paul.
"I noticed there was some sort of a limb sticking out of the bag. But it was all wrapped up in black plastic," the man, who declined to give his name, said in his riverbank yard on Friday after calling police hours earlier.
Officers cordoned off the site and eventually called a cop river patrol boat unit and city firefighters to assist.
Police worked with the firefighters to try to bring the body - still covered in the plastic sheeting - out of the water by lifting it up the riverbank, though a woman in the area said the rocky ground made that difficult.
"On the banks, it's just so jagged," the woman said on Friday on the shore, noting that investigators didn't want to remove the body from the plastic. "So they took it away by boat, instead of bringing it up here."
She said the body appeared to be that of an adult.