Decapitation victim in homicide near Ranfurly identified
Published Friday, October 26, 2012 11:28AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 26, 2012 6:31PM MDT
Edmonton police and RCMP publicly confirmed Friday that a human head found in a northeast Edmonton alley earlier this week is connected to a homicide near Ranfurly, Alta., and multiple sources have confirmed to CTV News the identity of the victim.
Results from an autopsy confirm that the human head found in area of 72 Street and 131 A Avenue on Wednesday belongs to a homicide victim discovered in a rural area near Ranfurly, Alta., approximately 137 kilometres east of Edmonton, last Saturday.
"The results of the autopsy confirm the remains found in Edmonton, a human head, belong to the victim discovered near Ranfurly," said Kevin Brezinski with the Edmonton Police Service's Major Crimes unit.
"This is truly a horrendous crime."
The name of the victim along with the cause of death is not being released at this time, however multiple sources and even a crime website are identifying the victim as 54-year-old Robert John Roth of Lloydminster.
Roth's body was discovered by a passerby, driving on Range Road 121 northeast of Ranfurly. The passerby noticed an empty pickup truck parked by the side of the road with the engine running. A lifeless body was found lying in the nearby ditch.
RCMP Insp. Jerry Scott says the investigation is "progressing well" but cannot speak about possible motives at this time, however there is speculation that Roth was killed by a drug gang.
"I think it would be very speculative on my part on what someone may or may not have meant by committing a homicide. I think it's too early to tell that," Scott said.
"Without getting into the specifics of the investigation, I don't know the reasons why the head was in Edmonton and the body was near Vermilion."
Police say the general public is not at risk, however, and that Roth was targeted.
Some sources also tell CTV News that the head was transported to the city and Roth was not killed in Edmonton.
RCMP will continue to investigate the homicide and ask anyone with information call the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567, Vermilion RCMP at 780-853-4111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from David Ewasuk