Portage man watering garden led by dog to human remains
WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba man is still in shock after finding human remains near his garden.
It happened Wednesday night in Portage la Prairie, Man.
Investigators were still in the area Thursday afternoon.
Officers surrounded a property near an industrial park in the city’s east end.
Forensic officers were focused on a yard along a railway. It’s where Byron Popiel lives and where he said on Wednesday at around 8 p.m., he found human remains in the bush near his garden.
“I feel bad,” said Popiel. “I’m very sick in my stomach and I’m very terrified.”
Popiel said he was watering his tomato plants when he smelled something weird.
He said he took his two-year-old pitbull-cross for a walk and that’s when he found the remains.
“I grabbed my dog on the leash and my dog led me to the body and I phoned 911 right away,” said Popiel.
Popiel said the remains were buried under a pile of dirt from his garden. He also said there were remains in one of his rain barrels.
RCMP from Portage, Major Crime Services, and Forensic Identification Services are investigating along with the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police said the identity of the person isn’t known and have released few other details.
“It could’ve been one of my kids,” said Popiel. “It could’ve been anybody’s.”
Popiel said he had to leave his house Wednesday night and hasn’t been allowed to return due to the investigation.
He said he ended up in hospital because of high blood pressure and tried returning home Thursday to get medication, food for his dog, and have a shower, with assistance from RCMP officers.
He’s lived in the home since 1991 but isn’t sure how much longer he’ll stay.
“I’m very scared,” said Popiel. “I think I might just move out of here.”
RCMP had no updates on the case Thursday but police said they hope to provide more details in the coming days.
Popiel wasn’t the only one asked to leave his home. A man from another nearby home said he was also forced out due to the investigation.