Neighbours worried after body found near O'Brien Farm Road, police say death suspicious
Police do not believe public safety is at risk, and say it's not Cortney Lake
Residents of a scenic St. John's neighbourhood are in a state of worry, as police investigate a suspicious death along a gravel road nearby.
A woman's body was found along a wooded trail cut into the side of Mount Scio, a few hundred metres from the O'Brien Farm heritage property.
Police secured the scene into Sunday, with the road alongside a grassy meadow cordoned off with yellow tape.
"They haven't given me any information on what's going on," said a woman who lives at the end of O'Brien Farm Road, a stone's throw from the site of the gruesome discovery.
Police said a member of the general public found the woman here on Saturday morning, shortly after 8 a.m.
By early afternoon Saturday, members of the Rovers search and rescue team were on site, scanning the road and the grassy meadow for any evidence related to the woman's death.
Hikers came and went throughout the day, turned back by the police tape and a swath of searchers in the area.
Pretty crazy, isn't it?- Curtis Ryan
A few metres down a steep embankment from the search scene the next day, Curtis Ryan stood outside smoking a cigarette and looked up at the police car above
"Pretty crazy, isn't it?" he said Sunday.
Officers canvassing neighbourhoods
Ryan has one of the few homes along Cumberland Crescent with a clear view of O'Brien Farm Road through a thicket of trees. After some incidents with teenagers coming down over the hill and through his backyard, he considered putting a security camera out back.
But he never got around to it.
On Saturday, police came to his door and asked if he had seen or heard anything suspicious. If he'd only installed that camera, he thought, maybe he would have caught the whole thing on video.
A few houses up the road, a woman said she has a bag packed and wants to get out of town for a little while.
One street over, in a picturesque subdivision along Exmouth Street, some residents are worried about things they may not have noticed.
"There's always vehicles parked along this street," said a woman who lives near where the gravel of O'Brien Farm Road meets the pavement of Exmouth.
"We see people coming and going all the time — all hours of the night."
Nothing caught her attention on Friday night or Saturday morning, however, until police began canvassing the neighbourhood asking questions.
Business cards for RNC officers can still be seen tucked into the door frames of homes along the streets nearby, encouraging anyone with information to come forward.
Details sparse, but no reason for panic: police
As of Sunday afternoon, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had shared little information about the suspicious death.
The woman has been identified, police said, but her identity has not yet been released to the public.
Speculation ran rampant on social media throughout Saturday afternoon, as people wondered if the family of Cortney Lake would finally have closure after tirelessly searching for her body over the last five months.
After that speculation, police said Saturday the woman's body is not that of the missing 24-year-old mother, whose death they ruled a homicide.
Despite the concerns of residents near O'Brien Farm Road, the RNC does not believe there is a heightened risk to the general public.
An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday, following the holiday Monday, after which a crucial question can be answered — was this woman murdered?