Police in Kitchener, Ont. are hoping a distinctive T-shirt will provide a breakthrough in the macabre discovery this weekend of a woman's dismembered torso, found in a dumpster near the downtown core.
The remains were discovered around 11 a.m. Saturday behind a high-rise apartment building, and all that's certain, investigators say, is that they belonged to a white woman of an unknown age.
Her identity, and where and when she died, remain a mystery. Only the torso was found; the head and limbs are unaccounted for,
But whoever she is, she was wearing a black T-shirt with the words "Forget princess I want to be a vampire" emblazoned on the front.
The words appear to be a reference to the movie Twilight.
"That really is something that can potentially lead back to: Where was that T-shirt purchased? Who may have seen someone with that T-shirt?" Waterloo Regional Police spokesman Olaf Heinzel said Monday morning.
A post-mortem is tentatively scheduled in Hamilton for some time later in the day.
In the meantime, detectives are scrutinizing missing-persons files.
"You would be looking at all the factors that play into it, then line that up with missing-persons reports from across Ontario and elsewhere, and try to see what the status of those are, and see if they can potentially make a link," Mr. Heinzel said.
DNA may or may not prove useful, he cautioned.
"Obviously they can obtain DNA from the remains but the question will be: Can you match it to anything? If there's nothing in a DNA bank anywhere, then that may not go anywhere."
The discovery was made by a person rummaging through a dumpster behind an 18-story apartment building on Frederick Street, a mixed commercial-residential area close to the downtown core. Police were called shortly after.
Several other instances of dismembered bodies have made headlines in the past year, including the case of accused killer Luka Rocco Magnotta, arrested in Berlin last summer after body parts belonging to a Montreal university student were mailed to addresses in Ottawa and British Columbia.
"But it's very unusual for our area, and very disturbing of course," Mr. Heinzel said.
Police are also hoping to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in or near the apartment building.
The unknown woman's death marks the first homicide of the year for Kitchener, 100 kilometres west of Toronto.