Homicide probe takes police to small Ottawa-area town

Police yesterday conducted a search near Chesterville, Ont., just south of Ottawa, for evidence linked to the homicide investigation of 28-year-old Melissa Richmond.

Body of Melissa Richmond, 28, found with signs of trauma near South Keys mall parking lot

Autopsy confirmed death of Melissa Richmond of North Dundas, just south of Ottawa 3:08

Police yesterday searched a small town south of Ottawa for evidence connected to the homicide of 28-year-old Melissa Richmond.

Richmond's body was found Sunday morning in a deep ditch near a storm drain that runs underneath Bank Street, which is also near the parking lot of the South Keys Shopping Centre.

Richmond's body was found near this storm drain that runs underneath Bank Street, which is not easy to see from the street or South Keys parking lot. (Judy Trinh/CBC)

A police source has told CBC News there were signs of trauma on the body.

She was reported missing on July 24 and her vehicle had been found in the mall parking lot two days later. But it wasn't until Sunday that a woman's body was found, later identified on Monday after an autopsy.

Police closed a street in the town of Chesterville Tuesday. The search focused on evidence linked to the Richmond homicide case.

Still no suspects

Ottawa police major crimes investigators and Ontario Provincial Police are investigating the death but they currently have no suspects and they have not determined where Richmond was killed.

Police also do not know if Richmond knew her attacker. Police have questioned family and friends but Richmond's widower, Canadian soldier Howard Richmond, has not yet been questioned, according to family friend Shelley Rabinovitch.

Police were searching the area around Chesterville, Ont., a small town south of Ottawa, for clues in the Melissa Richmond homicide investigation. (CBC)

Police said Richmond, a dental hygienist, is Ottawa's seventh homicide victim of the year. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to call 613-236-1222, ext. 5493.

On Wednesday, Howard Richmond wrote on Facebook requesting donations in honour of his late wife be sent to the Winchester Food Bank in lieu of flowers.

Funeral plans are also on hold as the coroner has yet to release Richmond's body to her family, police said.