For the second time in a week, police are investigating the discovery of human remains outside of Edmonton.
A homeowner just east of the city, near Range Road 231 and Township Road 514 in Strathcona County, called police Thursday after he noticed one of his dogs carrying what appeared to be a human skull in his yard, RCMP Cpl. Darren Anderson said Friday.
A search of the property by dog teams located additional skeletal remains, he said.
Police have not been able to determine the age, gender or how long the remains have been there. However, Anderson said, the investigation is being handled as a homicide.
"We have to treat this situation as if were a homicide. We have to treat it as if it were the most serious case. ... To do anything short of that would mean that we are not doing our jobs. We could potentially miss a key piece of evidence," Anderson said.
By late in the afternoon, investigators had yet to move the remains. They expected to be at the scene most of the weekend.
Investigators from the RCMP major crimes division, Strathcona County RCMP and forensic identification specialists were on the scene.
Project Kare, a joint Edmonton city police-RCMP task force investigating dozens of cases of missing and slain women, has also been advised, but is not actively involved in the investigation, Anderson said.
Many of those women worked as prostitutes or were involved with drugs and other high-risk activities, and were found dumped in rural areas outside Edmonton.
Police identify victim in earlier case
Also Friday, RCMP identified one of two men whose remains were found northeast of Edmonton last Friday. However, they would not release the name of the 40-year-old from the Red Deer area, they said, until they identify the second victim.
A farmer made the discovery a week ago while working adjacent to a wooded area north of Lamont. The area is about 80 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
Autopsies on Monday confirmed that the remains belonged to two adult males, and that they had been killed, but police said further forensic work was required to identify the men.
Police said earlier this week they know the cause of death, but were not releasing that information.
They are asking for the public's help to solve the killings.
"Investigators are confident that someone may have information that, if passed along, may help in any number of aspects in this homicide investigation," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said.