Homicide detectives investigating 'missing person' scene in northeast Edmonton

Homicide detectives are investigating a missing-person scene in northeast Edmonton.

'There are suspicious circumstances surrounding this file,' police spokesperson says

Edmonton police erected a large white tent in the street behind a car wash near the corner of 162nd Avenue and 51st Street in a missing-person case (Roberta Bell/CBC)

Homicide detectives are investigating a missing-person scene in northeast Edmonton.

"I've just confirmed that homicide section is investigating, as there are suspicious circumstances surrounding this file," Edmonton police spokesperson Cheryl Voordenhout told CBC News in an email Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, police were initially called to the scene near the corner of 162nd Avenue and 51st Street. Officers found a vehicle associated with a missing person.

"Evidence found in the vehicle led investigators to determine there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the missing person investigation," Voordenhout said.

The vehicle has since been removed. Investigators have erected a large white tent in the street behind a car wash, and police are now processing the scene around it to search for further evidence.

Generators hummed outside the plastic canvas tent, which was flanked by two police cars with their lights flashing.

Officers could be heard chipping ice Thursday morning. A shovel and a rake were seen being removed from the tent. 

The tent was pitched Wednesday night in what is largely a residential area of the Hollick-Kenyon neighbourhood. 

Police told CBC News on Thursday morning the tent is intended to protect potential evidence, but declined to comment further. 

Police remained tight-lipped about the nature of the case but have said it's connected to the disappearance of a single individual.

'That car was parked there for a really long time'

Jean Jacques Guedom, who lives nearby, said a red van was parked on the street for months before the area became a crime scene on Tuesday.

"That car was parked there for a really long time," Guedom told reporters as he stood outside his home on Thursday morning. "It was a red van and I saw there was something there sticking on the door, a paper, an orange paper I think."

The van went largely unnoticed by residents of the neighbourhood, Guedom said, until it was towed away by police.

"Because of the winter and it is cold, everybody just wants to park and leave," said Guedom. "We never really looked at it closely to know who that car belonged to.

"I was there the day they were towing the car. The day after, they built the tent, but other than that I have no idea."

Guedom said it's stressful to know that something criminal may have happened to close to home. 

"It is really strange and it makes people feel not really confident about what is happening here in the neighbourhood."
Police pitched the tent Wednesday night in a largely residential area of the Hollick-Kenyon neighbourhood. (Roberta Bell/CBC)