Port Burwell residents unlikely to get quick answers on suspicious death
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019 5:44PM EDT
It's a mystery residents of Port Burwell, Ont. are anxious to have solved. But police say their investigation could take weeks, maybe even months.
The Ontario Provincial Police continue to block a section of Lakeshore Line, east of Port Burwell, after human remains were found on the Lake Erie escarpment on Monday.
Jim Young and his wife moved from Toronto a year ago, opting for the quiet life in Port Burwell. What they didn't expect was a large-scale suspicious death investigation so close to home, "Small town like this? No."
But Young says it's also not something that's going to keep him up at night, “I'm not concerned at all, about my safety or anything like that in the area here."
On Monday word spread that human remains had been discovered in a fridge or freezer on the bluffs.
The next day a police helicopter was seen lifting what appeared to be a rescue stretcher and a large rectangular object from the side of the escarpment.
Elgin County OPP Const. Adam Crewdson says the challenging terrain required a larger police effort than usual.
"You did see a lot of police presence in here in the last few days. And that's because the OPP were going to bring in the right resources to collect the information and then move on with the investigation."
Police continue to say there's no risk to public safety.
Still, Herman Kolke believes those involved would have had to have some knowledge of the area, "Somebody knew what they were doing, they knew where to dump it."
At the Martin’s Family Fish Market they're getting ready for another day out on the water. With five generations of commercial fisherman, Tim Martin says they're very familiar with the stretch of the escarpment where the remains were found.
"We actually had fish nets, not too long ago, in on the beach for white bass."
Martin says people dump trash down the embankment on regular basis, and examples were easy to spot on Wednesday.
About 300 metres west of the scene of the police investigation, there was a cascade of trash down the hillside with what appeared to be a washing machine at the bottom.
Martin says, with Lakeshore Line closed off because of erosion risks, it's become even more isolated, "Especially in the middle of the night, there's nobody there. There's one house down there but I don't know if anybody lives in it or not."
While residents may be anxious for answers, police say they won't release any information that might compromise the investigation.