04/20/2016 02:47 EDT | Updated 04/21/2017 05:12 EDT

Toronto Police: Remains Found Behind Butcher Shop Are Human

Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2015/05/13: Toronto Police Car: Toronto Police Service is the largest municipal police service in Canada and third largest police force in Canada. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

TORONTO — The coroner's office has confirmed that the severed remains found behind a butcher shop in Toronto are human.

Spokeswoman Cheryl Mahyr says an autopsy of the remains is underway and authorities hope it could shed some light on what might have happened to the victim.

Mahyr says the autopsy could also yield clues to the person's identity, as well as information on what tool might have been used to dismember them.

The remains, which police said were believed to be part of a human torso, were found in a garbage bag behind the store when an employee was taking out the trash on Tuesday morning.

'Indignity to a body'

Police say they believe the remains were not outside the butcher shop for very long, and are asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious packages that may contain other body parts.

They say there could be a variety of explanations for what happened to the person involved.

"The circumstances surrounding the death of this person are completely up in the air right now," said Det. Sgt. Terry Browne. "We certainly have what appears to be an indignity to a body."

As police wait for results of the autopsy, Browne said they are also looking into cases of missing persons in the area.

"Once we get a better sense of who this person is, this should give us some focus for the investigation," he said.

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