An autopsy conducted on the body of homicide victim Consuelo Valencia-Russo has revealed the North York woman died of suffocation, police say.

The news comes as her loved ones tried to come to grips with the reality of her violent death.

"All of Connie's family and friends and I have been extremely shocked and saddened to learn of her passing yesterday," Coun. Cesar Palacio said Friday in a statement.

"Connie was an excellent mother, caring teacher and beloved neighbour and friend. Nicholas and I, and the rest of Connie's family and friends would like to thank the public for their kind support and as for privacy and prayers at this difficult time."

Palacio is the father of Valencia-Russo's 14-year-old son Nicholas. Palacio and Valencia-Russo once had a brief relationship.

The French teacher went missing Tuesday morning after telling people she was going for a hair appointment, one where she never arrived.

On Thursday at about 6:30 p.m., police found her car in the lot of an apartment building at 2425 Jane St. Valencia-Russo had lived in the building about a decade ago.

Her body was found in the trunk of her 2009 Toyota Corolla. Some early reports claim she had been stabbed.

There are claims her credit card was used in Canada on Wednesday and possibly in Mexico on Thursday.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or to text TOR and send their message to CRIMES (274637).

With a report from CTV Toronto's Galit Solomon