Mystery surrounds mass murder at Canadian farm

Click to follow

Police were not disclosing many details about the deaths at a farm in the eastern Canadian province, about 20 miles south-west of the city of London, except to say that four vehicles were also found, including a tow-truck. The bodies were discovered on Saturday morning.

"All the victims were known to each other and were from the greater Toronto area," said Detective Superintendent Ross Bingley of the Ontario Provincial Police.

The bodies have been removed for autopsies. Mr Bingley said the victims had not been formally identified and he gave no causes of death. No details would be released until next of kin could be notified. Police had been called by the property owner, who is not considered to be a suspect.

An aerial view showed the vehicles parked within 200 metres of each other, with the bodies still inside.

A minivan was discovered in a field about 20 yards off a dirt road. About 100 yards away, a tow truck was found parked at the side of the road with a small silver-coloured car hooked to the back. A fourth car was in a clearing about 100 metres along the dirt road. The boot was open.

Mary and Russell Steele, who own the property around which the cars were parked, said the vehicles were not there when they drove home on that road the night before at 8:30pm. They said they called police after looking inside one of the vehicles and not being able to see anything because of a blanket covering the back window.

"We didn't see anybody in them, so we just phoned the cops with the licence plate numbers," Mr Steele said. His wife added: "The police opened the back and immediately I thought, 'These are bodies'."

London is 100 miles south-west of Toronto and 30 miles north of Lake Erie. The surrounding Elgin County has also been home to several motorcycle clubs, including the Loners, the Bandidos and the Hells Angels.

There have been several violent incidents, including the discoveries of two bodies dumped in county fields in 1994 and 1998. Both were beaten to death. Neither murder has been solved.