Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is probing the deaths of two men in Hamilton early Saturday after an off-duty police officer had spoken with them prior to their deaths.
A spokesman for the SIU, however, said the investigation has just begun and it is impossible to say how the men died.
"It's much too early to speculate," John Line, a spokesman for the SIU, told reporters at the scene Saturday afternoon. "At some point at a later date there will be further release on the circumstances of the SIU investigation."
Line said when police arrived, they found two men "very seriously injured" but they died soon after. He said the names of the "young men" were being withheld at the request of the families.
The two men were located at about 6:20 a.m. near a road at the side of the Niagara escarpment in Hamilton.
According to Hamilton police, one of its officers had just completed his shift when he saw two men on a road called the Jolley Cut at about 5:30 Saturday morning.
Police say the officer told the men that the area they were in was not safe. The men were last seen walking on the Jolley Cut. The officer contacted police communications after the men left. The Jolley Cut is a winding road that cuts through the escarpment and connects the downtown to central Hamilton above the escarpment.
The Jolley Cut also bridges the Claremont Access, another north-south access and the busiest north-south access in the city. At 6:26 a.m. police received a call that two men had been found dead near the roadway of the Clairmont Access beneath the Jolley Cut overpass.
A crew of 10 specially trained firefighters wearing ropes and harnesses worked down the escarpment to recover the bodies early Saturday afternoon, said fire department spokesman Dave Christopher.
It appears the men went off the road at one of its highest points, he said.
The SIU is investigating because the officer had been in contact with the pair shortly before they were found dead. The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
Hamilton police Staff Sergeant Loris Pilot confirmed that SIU investigators arrived at the scene around 10:30 on Saturday morning.
The SIU says that four investigators and two forensic investigators are involved in the probe. They have the job of investigating the officer's connection to the deaths while the Hamilton Police will be investigating the deaths only.
Hamilton resident Jason Nason said he was up around 8:30 a.m and says he saw three cruisers halfway down the roadway in a curb lane. A fourth cruiser and forensic van were near a bend in the road.
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