The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Baby's Body Found in Car at ADESA Toronto

August 26, 2004

An autopsy has ruled out murder in the death of a baby boy whose decomposing remains were discovered in the back of a SUV on Aug. 23, according to the Brampton Guardian newspaper. Peel Regional Police located the mother of the newborn hours after the child's body was discovered in the cargo area of a repossessed sport/utility vehicle parked in Brampton. However, yesterday afternoon, homicide investigators were refusing to release details about the mother's identity, circumstances surrounding the infant's death, or either's relationship to the vehicle. "The post mortem examination did not reveal any traumatic injury to the victim," according to a Peel Regional Police news release. "The examination results are consistent with the investigative information gathered by police, leading investigators to form the opinion that the infant died as a result of pregnancy or birth complications." By the time the tiny remains were uncovered, the body may have been inside the vehicle parked in the summer heat for more than a week. The discovery had homicide detectives and the coroner's office working to determine whether the newborn's death was a matter of foul play or natural causes before the body was discarded inside the car. The unidentified child's body was found in the back of a dark late-model SUV parked among other vehicles at ADESA Toronto. The massive motor vehicle auction house occupies about 100 acres on Auction Lane near Hwy. 7 and Goreway Drive. The site employs about 400 full-time and part-times workers. Hundreds of repossessed and resale vehicles are stored at the facility while being prepared for auction to automotive dealers. Company officials said two employees made the grim discovery while carrying out a routine pre-auction inspection. "When they opened it, there was an odor coming from this vehicle," said Sheryl Watson, the company's lawyer. One of the employees who found the baby's corpse is still too traumatized to return to work, Watson said. The employees have been offered counseling, she noted. The vehicle had been on the premises for an estimated nine days before the two men unlocked its doors. Typically, cars may be inspected earlier. However, the SUV was repossessed by bailiffs and towed to the site Aug. 14 without a set of keys, said Watson. Any inspection of the vehicle had to wait until new keys were made, she explained. Police were called at about 10:30 a.m. Homicide detectives and forensics officers were assigned and the parking area around the vehicle was sealed off. A coroner did not arrive to remove the remains until about 3 p.m. At the same time, a tarp was placed over the vehicle before it was hoisted onto a flatbed tow truck and removed from the scene to undergo further forensic tests. Investigators continued questioning employees and began trying to track the vehicle's history. Police were appealing to anyone in the public, who had noticed the suspicious absence of a child in their neighborhood or amongst family or friends, to inform investigators. At about 4:30 p.m., police located the mother at her workplace, according to police reports. The investigation's direction hinged on the cause of death identified in autopsy results released yesterday afternoon. As a result, the investigation is now a coroner's investigation and not a homicide probe. Police, the coroner, and crown attorney's office are reviewing the incident to determine if any criminal charges will be laid. Detectives announced they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation. Watson confirmed the property has 24-hour security operating.
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