Catherine Todd, 48, was reported missing by an acquaintance on Thursday. Todd was last heard from three days earlier.
Waterloo Regional Police searched her apartment at 50 Lorraine Avenue near River Road East in Kitchener Friday night. The search led police to suspect foul play and the case was turned over to the homicide unit.
"Police went to her apartment, and because it was in disarray they had some concerns," Insp. Kevin Thaler said Sunday.
"Once they got inside with forensic identification they had a pretty good reason to suspect foul play and for that reason this investigation was ramped up."
Police are investigating reports that a pickup truck was seen leaving her home last Tuesday or Wednesday at approximately 9:00 a.m. They are also looking for a cream-coloured loveseat that is missing from her home.
Thaler said police believe the love seat is the only item from the home that is missing. They also believe it may be covered with a sheet or blanket.
Todd was often seen in the neighbourhood, walking her dog, a white Jack Russell terrier. Police hope this information will help create a timeline surrounding her disappearance.
"It's not typical for her to not be heard from for this period of time," Thaler said.
Police describe her as being a white woman, approximately five foot one inch, with brown hair and brown eyes.
A command post on the corner of Birkshire Court and Lorraine Avenue is available Sunday if area residents wish to speak to investigators.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the homicide branch at 519-650-8500 ext. 8314 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.