Homicide detectives investigating after body found outside downtown restaurant

CP24 - Homicide detectives are investigating after a body was found near Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood early Sunday morning.

Investigators say the lifeless body of a man was found by a passerby on Sunday outside a building on Lippincott St., near Bathurst and College streets.

Police initially said the death was being treated as 'suspicious' but later confirmed that the incident has now been ruled a homicide.

The man was found with "obvious signs of trauma," police said, but the cause of death has not yet been released.

Police say the believe the victim is between 20 and 25 years old.

The owner of a restaurant in the area said it was one of his employees who first discovered the body on the restaurant's patio.

“We tried to help the person and the person was unresponsive," he said. "Shortly after that the ambulance showed up and the police.”

Another witness in the area said he heard some type of commotion going on outside overnight but didn’t call police.

"I thought someone had been pushed through the patio fence because last time I looked out there it was standing and when I looked at it again it had fallen," he said.

"I got up and I stood there and stared outside for like 10 minutes ... It seemed like nothing had happened." 

He added that fights in the neighbourhood are a regular occurrence.

“It’s pretty traumatic because I feel like every Friday and Saturday night there is basically a fight out there and I always want to call the police but I never do and the one time something actually happens I had the same feeling and I didn’t call anybody," he said.