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Professional standards unit examining the initial handling of Tess Richey murder case
Published Monday, December 4, 2017 1:56PM EST Last Updated Monday, December 4, 2017 8:40PM EST
Toronto police said the service’s professional standards unit is looking into the handling on the Tess Richey murder case.
Without elaborating, Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash told CP24 that there are “questions” surrounding how the investigation was “initially carried out.”
“We will have to see where that goes but we do have some questions about how the initial aspect of the investigation was handled,” Pugash said.
Richey, 22, was last seen in the area of Church and Wellesley streets at around 3 a.m. on Nov. 25 and was reported missing that same day.
Her body was located on Nov. 29 outside a construction site at 582 Church street, which is near Church and Dundonald streets.
On Friday, police said an autopsy was conducted on Richey and the cause of death was determined to be neck compression. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.
A business owner in the area who witnessed the discovery of Richey’s body told CP24 on Monday that he heard two women screaming at the time she was found.
“Two females were screaming out on the street saying that there was a body in the alley and I had a customer at the shop so obviously we wanted to see what they were talking about to support in any way,” William Ayers said. “We see a body down the stairs and one of the women called police and a few minutes later police arrived with ambulance.”
Ayers said he did not know the connection between the women and Richey but believes they were family members as they were very distraught.
“One of them I think was the mother but I’m not too sure,” he said. “She was the one that was very out of control and I don’t blame her.”
“It looked like it was somebody close to her.”
Family of Richey confirmed to CTV News Toronto on Monday that the young woman’s body was indeed discovered by her mother.
On Sunday night, police appealed for information about an unknown male who was reportedly with Richey in the early morning hours of Nov. 25.
He has been described as a white male with a slim build. He is believed to be between five-foot-seven and six feet tall and had short, light-coloured hair.
Pugash said anyone with information on the case is urged to come forward.
“We are working very hard on this investigation,” he said.