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Police shut down highway to probe location of Mariam Makhniashvili's remains

Mariam Makhniashvili has been missing since Monday Sept. 14. Toronto police are intensifying their search for the teen.

Toronto police handout

Toronto Police shut down part of one of the busiest highways in the country on Friday as they continued to probe the baffling death of a girl whose disappearance gripped the city.

Mariam Makhniashvili's remains were discovered last month, ending a 2.5-year missing-persons investigation that sparked wild speculation. But the investigators' conclusion that her death was not suspicious left many people with unanswered questions.

Police said at the time that they would continue their investigation, including looking at how the teenager was able to get onto the busy highway from which she fell without being spotted.

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On Friday investigators shut an off-ramp used by motorists exiting Highway 401 onto Yonge Street, close to where the girl died. The road was closed for about an hour but police have not said what they were after.

"We have officers searching the area where the remains were located," police spokeswoman Constable Wendy Drummond said in an email.

No further detail was immediately available.

Ms. Makhniashvili disappeared in September of 2009, prompting a massive police investigation. Her remains were found last month at the base of a high overpass in North Toronto, the cause of death consistent with a significant fall.

She is to be buried March 24. It will be a public service that her father, who is currently serving time for stabbing several people, is hoping to attend.

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About the Author

Oliver Moore joined the Globe and Mail's web newsroom in 2000 as an editor and then moved into reporting. A native Torontonian, he served four years as Atlantic Bureau Chief and has worked also in Afghanistan, Grenada, France, Spain and the United States. More

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