There’s no evidence that a serial killer was involved in the cases of recent missing and murdered people in the Church and Wellesley streets area, Toronto police said Friday.
While updating the investigations into the murder of Tess Richey, the death of Alloura Wells and missing persons Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, investigators addressed several concerns brought up by members of the community and posts on social media.
Speaking about Project Prism, the task force set up to investigate the disappearance of Kinsman and Esen, Det.-Sgt. Michael Richmond said the was no evidence that dating apps were involved in these cases.
“There has been a great deal of misinformation and speculation relating to the project prism investigation disseminated through the media and other mediums,” Richmond stated.
Richmond added that there has been no evidence that the two missing men are connected to each other or connected in any way to three other men who went missing from the area.
“There have been reports in the media and elsewhere to the effect that the disappearance of these three males is linked to the disappeared to Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. There have also been reports that a serial killer is responsible for the disappearance of these missing males,” he said.
“There is no evidence at this point in time which in any way establishes the disappearances of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman are linked to the disappearance of the males from the Project Houston investigation. There is also no evidence to support that the disappearance of Selim Esen or Andrew Kinsman are linked. It simply makes sense to have the same dedicated teams investigate these occurrences in parallel.”
No evidence of foul play in missing men cases
Richmond said there’s also no evidence that Kinsman and Esen were victims of foul play. Both men remain missing from the area.
Kinsman, 49, was last seen on June 26 in the Parliament and Winchester streets area. Police originally ruled his disappearance suspicious.
Esen, 43, was last seen in the Yonge and Bloor area in April.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders also addressed the concerns of the community and said he doesn’t believe there’s anything to be worried about.
“The short answer to that is I don’t think so, but the one thing I think is important is that we have to have some stronger relationships and stronger conversations to reduce the perception that may be out there,” Saunders said.
“Also the fact that they are all geographically in a close area, as human beings I certainly understand that.”
Police want to speak to Alloura Wells’ boyfriend
Police also addressed the death of Alloura Wells, a transgender woman whose body was found in a ravine near Rosedale Valley Road in August.
Investigators said they believe Wells’ body had been lying next to a tent in the ravine for about three to four weeks before it was discovered.
They believe her boyfriend, Augustinus Balesdent, may have been the last person to see her alive. Although he is not considered a suspect, police said they would like to speak with Balesdent.
Despite cause of death having not been determined, police say they have no reason to believe it was suspicious.
Police describe suspect in Tess Richey’s murder
Police also provided a suspect description of the male they believe may have been responsible for the death of Tess Richey. Richey had been out with a friend in the Church and Wellesley area when they met an unknown male near a hotdog cart. Police said Richey and the male then walked to the area near where her body would later be found.
The suspect is described as a male who appears to have light skin, about 5’7 to 6 feet, slim build, dark jacket and light pants.
Despite police searching the area where Richey went missing, it was her mother who found her body several days later in a stairwell. This fact has caused many people to question the competency of the officers who were looking for the woman, as well as just how important missing persons cases are to police.
Saunders has said that he is launching an investigation into the search for Richey’s body to find out what happened and what could have been done better.
He said he has asked the Professional Standards Unit to look at any “gaps” or “issues” there may be in how these investigations are conducted.
“I want to know who received what information and what was done with it,” Saunders told the media.