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Construction work on Vanier apartment building uncovers human remains

Human remains were apparently found behind two apartment buildings in Vanier, September 29, 2022.
Human remains were apparently found behind two apartment buildings in Vanier, September 29, 2022. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia

Construction workers digging in the backyard of a gutted apartment building on Deschamps Avenue in Vanier have found what police believe to be human remains.

The remains were discovered behind a triplex located at 147 Deschamps Avenue that has been vacant for more than a year as it undergoes renovations. Temporary fencing and plywood boards surrounded it.

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A neighbour who has lived beside the building for more than a decade said she heard the construction workers operating a mini-excavator in the backyard most of the day until, sometime in the middle of the afternoon, the digging stopped abruptly.

Police vehicles including a forensic identification unit arrived on the scene around 4 p.m. said the neighbour, who asked not to be identified out of fear for her safety. Officers began taking photos of something in a pit in the backyard. Three police cruisers remained on the scene Wednesday evening, watching over it.

A police officer declined to provide details about the investigation, but said construction workers had noticed an odd smell while digging.

Ottawa police said in a media release Thursday that the investigation was ongoing.

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