Toronto police have released a composite sketch of a little girl whose body was found in a dumpster in a high-end neighbourhood one month ago.
Police have also released a photo of a vehicle of interest, described as a dark coloured Porsche Cayenne SUV, from between 2011-2014, according to a news release.
Insp. Hank Idsinga told reporters the vehicle was captured on video in daylight, stopping in the area of the dumpster on April 28 at 10:26 p.m.
“That car is captured on Dale Avenue in the timeframe we believe the body was dumped there, and inexplicably stops right by the dumpster for 21 seconds,” he said at a news conference. “So, of course, we want to identify this car.”
Toronto police provide update on girl whose body was found in dumpster:
A criminologist at Western University in London, Ont., says though the car is “not as glamorous” a lead, it could actually end up being “significant.”
“Fortunately, it’s a comparatively rare vehicle. It’s like an older model … that would allow the police to do what’s known as an offline search,” Michael Arntfield told CBC News.
“So, essentially pull records of every vehicle of that make, model and colour over a span of years and then narrow down potential license plates, which then lead to potential home addresses when the vehicles were registered.”
Arntfield says though it might not look that way at the moment, “this is a solvable case.”
Girl likely never reported missing in Canada: police
Idsinga said the Ontario Centre for Missing Persons conducted a rapid analysis to identify potential matches based on criteria from the province’s coroner and forensic pathology service.
The analysis identified 58 missing children cases from across Canada for investigative consideration, but investigators have no evidence linking the girl to any of those cases.
Investigators don’t believe the girl was ever reported missing to police in Canada, Idsinga said, but cannot rule out the possibility that she may have been reported missing in another country.
“That search and that part of the investigation is still ongoing. What I’ve focused on there is specifically the Ontario database, which captures everyone across Canada.”
Police plead for public to help identify girl
Idsinga also said people should bear in mind that the skin tone in the photograph released Tuesday is an approximation and may not be completely accurate.
“But if there is simply one thing that the graphic artist has absolutely nailed in their sketch, that would trigger the memory or a thought in anyone out there, that is all we need — to motivate someone to call and say, ‘I think I know who that girl is,'” he said.
“Please give us a call and help us out.”
The composite sketches were completed by a forensic artist from the Ontario Provincial Police who provides the service to the Coroner’s Office, police say.
Police were called to the scene in the Castle Frank Road and Dale Avenue area, north of Bloor Street East on May 2 around 4:45 p.m.
That’s where they say the girl’s body was found wrapped in a crocheted blanket inside a plastic bag, wrapped in a colourful blanket.
Investigators previously released images of those two pieces of cloth in hopes that someone might recognized them and help identify the girl.
The release of those images “generated a lot of tips,” from people thinking they knew who owned the blanket, Idsinga said. Investigators have followed up on all of the tips they received, he added.
Cause of death still unknown
Police have described the girl as Black, three feet and six inches tall, with curly hair sectioned in four short ponytails, two of which were braided and tied with black and blue elastics.
Police believe she is four to seven years old, adding that she had all her teeth when her body was found.
A post-mortem exam was performed last month, but forensic pathologists have yet to determine a cause of death, police said.
Investigators believe the remains were left in the area between April 28, at 12 p.m. and May 2, at 4:45 p.m. However, they say the girl may have been dead as early as the summer or fall of 2021, or earlier.
Police are asking anyone with information contact 416-808-5300, or to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 416-222-TIPS (8477).