A body found along a Queensway off-ramp Tuesday has been identified as that of a 30-year-old man who went missing more than six months ago, only days after being released from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
Ottawa police said yesterday the body discovered by landscapers nestled along a tree-lined fence between the Mann Avenue off-ramp and Lees Avenue is that of Jason Richard King, who hadn't been seen or heard from since he went missing on Oct. 5.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death was inconclusive, police said, and further tests will be required to determine what killed Mr. King and whether foul play was a factor.
Police initially suspected the body may have belonged to a black male and did not believe it matched any missing person reports. But upon further examination, the badly decomposed body was identified as that of the missing man.
According to Ottawa police missing persons Sgt. Peter Linegar, Mr. King was last seen at home by family members and had fallen in with a rough crowd with ties to drugs in the months before his disappearance.
Court documents indicated Mr. King was charged with a breach of conditions the day he disappeared. According to police, the conditions he was accused of breaching stemmed from an earlier charge related to a domestic dispute with a girlfriend.
Sgt. Linegar said police interviewed many of his associates, tracked his bank accounts and issued several pleas to the public for information following his disappearance by could not turn up any trace of Mr. King. There was also no indication he was suicidal and he did not have a history of disappearing without contacting relatives.
Sgt. Linegar said Mr. King's family expressed concerns he may have been a crime victim. They could not be reached for comment yesterday.
"He's not a hardened criminal," said Sgt. Linegar. "There was a belief that this wasn't normal for him not to contact (his family).
"For all intents and purposes he was a loving son and it was out of the ordinary for him not to be in touch."
The file had been considered a cold case and passed to the major crime squad after police had exhausted all their leads. There are currently 26 missing persons cold cases.
Sgt. Linegar said there were 12 people considered missing in Ottawa yesterday, although that number fluctuates daily. Three of those are presumed dead and believed to have drowned in the Ottawa River.
Police stressed there is currently no evidence that Mr. King is a homicide victim, but his death will continue to be considered suspicious until a cause of death is determined.
Anyone with information on Mr. King's disappearance is asked to call Ottawa police at 236-1222, ext. 5493 or Crime Stoppers at 233-TIPS.