Cape Breton Regional Police are continuing their investigation into the gruesome weekend discovery along the Mira River of 21-year-old Laura Jessome from Bras d’Or.
A relative told the media they had not heard from the victim for nearly three weeks before her body was found.
Jessome, who had not been reported missing, was known to police and her cousin admits she led a troubled life and was friends with “people in the drug scene.”
The discovery was made at about 8 p.m. Friday by a woman who noticed the bag in the water near her home.
Laura had suffered violence in her life before. Jessome was the victim of an assault in 2010 and had a restraining order against her assailant.
The same man was found guilty of assaulting Jessome’s father and threatening her father and sister in November.
A month after that incident, the man forcibly confined Jessome and was found guilty of violating a court order to stay away from her.
The court documents say the man was found guilty in March of repeatedly calling Jessome and her family. He was sentenced on April 13 to serve five months and 17 days in jail.
Cape Breton Regional Police have not said how Jessome died or how long her body had been in the river.
Investigators have tracked down the original owner of the hockey bag in which the victim’s remains were found. They say it belonged to a member of the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association and the player’s name was still on the bag.
However, police have verified the owner’s story that the hockey bag containing used sports gear was left at a curb in April during a heavy garbage pickup.
The owner told police a truck with three or four youths took the bag and police are now looking for the group as they continue to chase down leads in the case.
Staff Sgt. Mike Kennedy, the lead investigator in the case, has said officers believe the homicide was an isolated incident and not a random act.
Members from the Cape Breton Regional Police marine unit spent the day combing the bottom of the Mira River near Marion Bridge on Monday, searching for evidence related to a body that was discovered in a hockey bag in the area Friday night.
An autopsy performed Saturday in Halifax resulted in police launching a homicide investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information concerning the crime to contact the dispatch centre at 902-563-5151 or Crime Stoppers at 902-562-8477.