The discovery of several dead babies in a Winnipeg storage locker is "tragic beyond belief," say police.

Three or four bodies were found Monday afternoon in various states of decomposition, said police spokesman Const. Eric Hofley.

Autopsies are planned on the remains to determine exactly how many there are and the cause of death, he said. The autopsies will also determine their age.

Hofley said the bodies were newborns or someone "of a very young age." They were "certainly not children," he said, calling the situation "very disturbing" and "tragic beyond belief."

"All that information will hopefully be determined as the days progress. We will have further information tomorrow [Wednesday], I do know that for a fact." 

Police were on scene at the U-Haul storage facility in Winnipeg late Monday night. The bodies of several dead babies were found. (Lindsay Tsuji/CBC)

Hofley would not reveal the name of the storage facility, but CBC News has learned it was U-Haul on McPhillips Street and Elgin Avenue in the city's West Alexander neighbourhood.

The bodies were found by employees who phoned police at about 1 p.m.

Sources told CBC News it's a "gruesome scene" like something from a horror movie. It isn't clear how long the bodies had been in the locker.

Hofley told reporters on Tuesday that in his 14 years as an officer he has never experienced anything like this.

Members of the police services child abuse unit are investigating, and depending on where that leads, members of the homicide unit may pick up on it, he said.

If it's found there was no foul play, there will likely still be charges.

"Obviously, you're not allowed to store or conceal human remains. That in itself would be a charge," Hofley said.

"Again, until such time as the autopsies have determined what is the cause of this, we won't know what the full extent of the charges may or may not be."

Police are urging anyone with information to contact them at 204-986-3296 or to call Crime Stoppers at 786-8477.