Police have launched a homicide investigation after the body of 73-year-old Elizabeth Lafantaisie was found in her car in the Osborne Village area.

CTV News has learned the body was found wrapped in some type of tarp in the trunk of her vehicle.

Lafantaisie was last seen alive on Feb. 18 around 8 a.m.

Henry Lagimodiere is one of Lafantaisie's neigbhours in a seniors' block in Fort Garry.

He saw her leave in her car before she went missing.

Lagimodiere started picking up her newspapers when he noticed she hadn't returned. Then, a missing person's report was filed.

"Everyone was wondering what was going on," he said.

Police sent out a public plea for information about her whereabouts on Feb. 23.

Thursday afternoon, police blocked off a section of Lewis Street, in the Osborne Village area, after her vehicle, a blue-grey Pontiac Grand Prix, was spotted.

An autopsy is pending to determine cause of Lafantaisie's death.

Lafantaisie's friends and neighbours said they're devastated.

"Why would this happen? I just can't imagine things like that happening," said Henry Lagimodiere.

"It was shocking. Very much so, to all of the tenants in here," said Ed Warkentin, apartment manager at Lafantaisie's building.

Neighbours said Lafantaisie kept to herself and did occasional work cleaning apartments.

People in the area said her purse was found at the Summerland Apartments.

Police would only confirm her purse and belongings were located and given to police.

Investigators believe that suspects took Lafantaisie's car to a coin-operated car wash on Feb. 18 to Feb. 22. 

"If someone was at a coin-operated or self-operated car wash where someone may have been observed (appearing) anxious, maybe somewhat emotional or rushed, in some fashion," said Const. Jason Michalyshen, a spokesperson for Winnipeg police.

Anyone who may have observed a blue-grey, four-door 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix being washed is asked to contact police immediately.

People can contact investigators at 986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 786-8477.

Please note: Police originally identified the car as "teal green" in colour. Officers now say the car is "blue-grey" and this story has been updated to reflect that change. The timeframe during which the car was washed has also been expanded based on new information from police.