Ontario Provincial Police have confirmed that the human remains found on the weekend belong to Sonia Varaschin, a 42-year-old nurse who had gone missing from her Orangeville home early last week.
An autopsy of the body, found just before 9 a.m. on Sunday in a wooded area outside of Caledon, confirmed the worst for family members who had anxiously awaited news of her whereabouts.
Police have now ruled her case a homicide and are ramping up the investigation to identify and capture her killer, said Provincial Constable Peter Leon, a spokeperson for the OPP’s central detachment.
He also said the person who is responsible for her death likely used her car to move the body from her home to the wooded area on Beech Grove Road near Mountainview Road in Caledon.
“We’ve gone very, very quickly from a missing person investigation into a murder investigation,” he said. “The investigation will continue as it has since the first report was made last Monday regarding Sonia’s disappearance.”
The Varaschin family has been notified about her death and has assistance from Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services, Prov. Const. Leon said.
An Orangeville police officer has been dedicated to giving the family updates and helping them with whatever they need, he said.
Reached at the family home in Albion, Ont. a woman named Nadia would not say anything about the discovery of Ms. Varaschin’s body.
“We have no comment at this time,” she said, declining to answer further questions.
Ms. Varaschin was reported missing by her family last Monday after she didn’t show up for work. Her blood-stained Toyota Corolla was found in an alleyway behind the Orangeville Town Hall near Alexandra Park.
Blood was also found in her Spring Street residence, prompting detectives to urge the public to be on the lookout for a bloodstained bed cover that was missing from her home. They also told the media that the suspect would have also been covered in blood and acting strangely in recent days.
“We have no suspects. However that was certainly something that was alluded to in a media conference last week—that it could very well have been somebody that she knew,” said Prov. Const. Leon. “Conversely, it could be somebody who did not know her at all. That’s certainly something we’re trying to determine.”
Police are resting a significant amount of hope on information from the public to help catch her killer. They’ve posted a $2,000 reward and are asking anyone who might have seen her vehicle on Sunday night and Monday morning to report the sighting to police.
A press conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Best Western Hotel in Orangeville. There, Orangeville Police Chief Joseph Tomei and lead investigator Detective Inspector Mark Pritchard will update the media on the investigation.
Details such as whether the bed sheet was found with or near the body could be revealed, Prov. Const. Leon said.
“That’s somewhat evidentiary in nature. And we at this point don’t want to compromise the investigation.”
Cause of death has not been released and it is unclear whether police will speak about it at Wednesday’s press conference.
For now, the people of Orangeville are further urged to be aware of their surroundings, Const. Leon said.
“I know we had warm weather today and the tendency when we have warm weather is people like to leave screens and doors open to let the breeze through,” he said. “I think people need to seriously consider their own personal safety,” he said, adding that the Orangeville Police Service has worked extra hard to ensure the public feels safe.