Waterloo Regional Police have been surprised by how long it’s taking to find the body of a Kitchener woman who went missing in March and is presumed dead, but they’re determined to continue the search.
"The importance of finding Catherine Todd is number one for her family and for the community," said Inspector Kevin Thaler of the Waterloo Regional Police in an interview with Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Thursday.
On average, 11 officers a day are combing through a landfill at Erb Street West for Catherine Todd, 48. She was last heard from on March 18 and reported missing by an acquaintance three days later.
Police charged 25-year-old James Parise with second-degree murder in connection with her presumed death.
"The amount of material in there I think surprised everyone and the amount of time it takes to search that material has surprised everyone too," said Thaler, who notes that police haven’t yet searched the entire area that they had mapped out.
"The equipment that brings material into the landfill is GPS-equipped, which allows for some plotting of the area. We know the timeframe that the drop was made and we know what we’re looking for is there," said Thaler.
Police search for body and loveseat
The police, along with regional staff from the landfill, are looking for Todd’s body as well as a small cream-coloured loveseat missing from her home.
A pickup truck was spotted leaving Todd's apartment at 50 Lorraine Ave. near River Road East in Kitchener, and is now with police undergoing forensic testing.
Todd was often seen in her neighbourhood walking her dog, a white Jack Russell terrier.
Though they've been searching for 31 days, for three of those police were not able to search the landfill because of an ice storm in the region and other operational demands.
Investigation cost 'substantial' but unknown
Thaler couldn’t provide a dollar figure regarding how much the search is costing the force except to say that it is "substantial."
"We’re talking 11 officers, daylight hours for 28 days, yeah there’s a substantial cost," said Thaler.
"But I think what we have to focus on is what we’re doing there is important. It’s brings closure to the Todd family, brings closure to the community," he said.
Norris asked Thaler how certain police were that Todd’s body was in the landfill.
"We wouldn’t be putting these sorts of efforts into it if we didn’t know it was there," said Thaler of Todd’s body.
"We know that there is a loveseat there," he went on to clarify.
"Was she dumped in there as well? We don’t know, but the balance of probabilities is she’s probably there."
Police are asking anyone with information related to the investigation to contact the Homicide Branch at 519-650-8500 ext. 8314 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222 8477.