Waterloo Regional Police believe they may have focused on the wrong area of the Erb Street landfill in their search for the body of Catherine Todd, 48, and a loveseat missing from her Kitchener apartment.
Police said they were searching the dump on "very good information," that police would find clues relating to the case, said Insp. Kevin Thaler.
"We went into this search 100 per cent confident that we would find the loveseat and perhaps even Catherine Todd," he said.
"There was a system in place to deposit material into the landfill and we found out, like any system, there can be glitches in the system."
"Towards the end of the search, information came to our attention that led us to know that we may not find the loveseat, any trace or any information in regards to Catherine Todd in the area we were checking."
When error was discovered, it was too late
Thaler said at that point investigators decided, in consultation with the Todd family, to call off the search.
"Logistically we just couldn't keep this search going," said Thaler. "It's with a heavy heart that that decision was made, but it became a reality."
Thaler said by the time investigators realized they may have been scouring the wrong part of the dump, it was too late.
"The landfill takes in material at a pretty astonishing rate. We had an area marked off that was to be searched and more material was accumulating behind it," he said.
"Once it was discovered that there may be other areas to search, we're now looking at an exponentially larger search because those areas have now been filled over."
Todd was often seen walking her white Jack Russell terrier dog in the neighbourhood around her apartment, located at 50 Lorraine Ave. near River Road East in Kitchener, before she disappeared in March.
James Solomon Parise, 26 of Kitchener, has been charged with second-degree murder in relation to Todd's presumed death.