Autopsy may help ID burned body

Victoria-area RCMP are hoping an autopsy will help them identify a woman's burned body found Friday evening near a popular hiking trail.

Victoria-area RCMP are hoping an autopsy will help them identify a woman's burned body found Friday evening near a popular hiking trail.

The charred remains were discovered next to the Galloping Goose Trail between Atkins Avenue and Wale Road in Colwood, about 10 kilometres west of Victoria, according to RCMP Cpl. Darren Lagan.

Police are calling the woman's death a homicide but have not revealed the cause of death or how long the body may have been on the trail before being discovered.

"There was a fire set at the scene and that fire caused damage to the body, which has impeded our ability to identify her, so we're hopeful that an autopsy which is going to be conducted in Vancouver this morning will move that forward and at least identify her to us," Lagan said. 

Investigators are also looking into at least 29 missing persons reports from southern Vancouver Island to try to identify the woman.

Police are also appealing to anyone who was on the trail after Thursday morning to contact them.

"If you were in this area on Thursday, March 18, through to the evening of Friday, March 19, we need your help," Lagan said in a statement issued Sunday.

"Did you see, hear, or smell anything unusual in the area? If so, we need to hear from you as soon as possible."