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Human remains have been discovered in a wooded area east of Orangeville, where police have been searching for Sonia Varaschin, who went missing last week.
Investigators suspect foul play in her disappearance, after a trail of blood was found in the 42-year-old’s home. Her car, which was abandoned in an alleyway near Orangeville’s town hall, was also spattered with blood.
Shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday, a resident walking their dog found remains near Beechgrove Side Road and St. Andrew’s Road, a rural area about 13 kilometres east of town, and called police. The coroner came to the scene, confirmed that the remains are human and transported them to the coroner’s office in Toronto for a post-mortem, police said.
Officers said it’s not known whether the discovery Sunday morning is related to Ms. Varaschin’s disappearance.
“We have been in contact with the Varaschin family and ask that the media respect their privacy at this time,” said Constable Jonathan Beckett of the Ontario Provincial Police, said from the scene. He declined to release any more details on the remains — such as age, sex or what exactly was found — until a positive identification is made.
Police blocked off a section of Beechgrove, a narrow dirt road that cuts through farmland and groves of trees southeast of the town of 27,000. About 300 metres from the roadblock, an area of trees off the road was marked with yellow police tape. Two police cruisers sat nearby.
Ms. Varaschin, who previously worked as a nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, was reported missing Monday when she failed to show up for work at a Mississauga pharmaceutical company.
Police have told her family to expect the worst.
On Friday, they said they were searching for a blood-soaked beige-coloured sheet and comforter that was missing from her home, and asked residents to be on the lookout for the bedding in rural or wooded areas.
Investigators have not identified a suspect, but said it was likely someone Ms. Varaschin knew and who was familiar with the area around her house.
“The culprit left the scene covered in blood,” said OPP Detective Inspector Mark Pritchard, adding that the culprit would have had traces of blood on clothes and footwear Monday. He said the removal of a bedsheet suggests the culprit was disposing of evidence.
He or she is believed to have left Ms. Varaschin’s house in her car and then returned to Orangeville with it later.