Toronto police using DNA have identified the transgender woman found in a ravine last August as that of Alloura Wells.
Rebecca Price was walking through the Rosedale ravine in mid-town Toronto with a friend on Aug 5, 2017, when she came across a horrific sight: a dead woman’s body.
She called the police and followed up with the detective. Price spoke to the detective a few times, but he didn’t seem to know much.
“I think he just couldn’t wait to get me off the phone,” she said.
She did learn one crucial detail: the body was a transgender woman.
So Price went online and looked for organizations that did advocacy for transgender people, figuring they might be able to help find out who the woman was. She reached out to The 519 community centre, which told her that they’d look into it.
Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project posted this to Facebook on November 19th.
“Wells has been missing for four months now. Toronto Police have been reluctant to take up the case (initially refusing to file a missing person report altogether) because she was homeless and engaged in sex work when she disappeared. Police told family and friends that it’s “not uncommon” for homeless people and sex workers to disappear in the city.
Trans Pride Toronto, Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project and community have been working with Alloura’s family to organize community searches and outreach efforts to gather information.”
Without the combined efforts of Rebecca Price, Trans Pride Toronto, Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project and Alloura’s family Toronto police wouldn’t have bothered.
Police announced that DNA testing would take place after her father reported her missing.
Thursday Toronto police confirmed that the woman found in the ravine was indeed Alloura Wells. “The case has now been transferred to 53 Division and the investigation into the cause of death continues,” a news release said Thursday.
The 519 community centre dropped the ball and has initiated an internal investigation, according to a message, as to why procedures involving a reported death of a community member wasn’t adhered to.
— The 519 (@The519) December 2, 2017