The body of an adult female that was discovered yesterday around noon in a North Burnaby Park just off Winston Street has been positively identified.
IHIT investigators have identified the deceased woman located in WARNER LOAT Park in North Burnaby as 27-year-old Carla Marie SMITH of Vancouver. Carla was also known to use the names Carmen and Justine.
SMITH is known to Vancouver Police for her involvement in the sex trade industry, working in Vancouver.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of death or if SMITH died at the scene where she was discovered or at another location and later placed there. “We are hoping that today’s autopsy will assist us with that determination,” said Cpl. Dale Carr of IHIT.
Police are aware that there have been a number of women found deceased in parks over the last couple of years. Investigators have continued to consult on all files and have found that there are no links between each of the events. “Each of the investigations are separate and distinct. The only similarities are that they are women found in a park,” said Carr.
IHIT investigators are releasing a photo of the victim in the hope that someone will recognize SMITH and be able to offer information to investigators.
PREVIOUSLY RELEASED INFORMATION
The body of an adult female was discovered today around noon in a North Burnaby Park just off Winston Street.
On February 7, 2011 at approximately noon, a local man was in the park for a lunch-time walk when he discovered what appeared to be a deceased body. The man notified the Burnaby RCMP. Once police were on scene, they believed that the adult female appeared to have met with foul play. The area was immediately secured and the Integrated homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) was called in to investigate.
Currently, the Lower Mainland District Forensic Identification Section is on scene conducting a comprehensive crime scene investigation looking for any evidence that could assist in advancing the investigation.
A Police Service Dog has been deployed in the area to conduct a search.
Investigators’ number one priority is to identify the female, and then notify the victim’s family.
Investigators from IHIT and Burnaby Serious Crime Section will be in the area tonight and throughout tomorrow canvassing area residents for information. Additionally, the Lower Mainland District Tactical Troop will be in the park conducting a comprehensive line search inside the wooded area looking for additional evidence.
The park will remain closed as police will be holding the scene throughout the night in order to maintain continuity for the search by the Tactical Troop.
Once the crime scene investigation has been completed, the coroner will be advised. Once the coroner has completed their investigation, the body will be moved and prepared for autopsy. Although an autopsy has not been scheduled, it is anticipated that the autopsy will occur in the next few days.
Adjacent to the area of the discovery of the body there is an off leash dog park. Investigators are asking that anyone who uses the dog park on a regular basis who may have seen anything out of the ordinary over the past week, to please give them a call.
“Oftentimes people see things and don’t realize that it is important to a homicide investigation until police ask,” said Cpl. Dale CARR of IHIT.
At this point there is nothing that suggests that this has any links to gangs, drugs or organized crime or links to any other homicide investigation. This may change as investigators learn more information.