Man charged with murder in Tess Richey's death
Published Monday, February 5, 2018 10:13AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 21, 2018 2:18PM EDT
Toronto homicide investigators have made an arrest in the murder of 22-year-old Tess Richey, whose body was found at a construction site in the city’s gay village last November.
Kalen Schlatter, 21, of Toronto, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Richey’s death.
Homicide Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson announced the charge at a news conference on Monday.
Richey was last seen alive with a young male companion in the early hours of Nov. 25, in the neighbourhood of Church and Wellesley Streets. She was reported missing later that day and was not found until Nov. 29. Her mother found her body in a stairwell outside a building under construction at Church and Dundonald Streets.
“We believe that they were together, alone, in that area, and they were together for some time,” Gibson said. “By the time he left, Tess was already unfortunately deceased.”
Schlatter was arrested Sunday night, but Gibson says police were aware of him “for some time.” He added that Schlatter does contract work on the exteriors of properties.
Police have said the cause of death was “neck compression.”
Investigators previously released a security camera photo and description of a suspect on Dec. 12. He was described as a young, slim white male with dark hair, a dark jacket and light-coloured pants.
Police are also looking into their response to the initial disappearance report, following criticism over the delay in finding her body.
“The family’s on very good terms with the members of my team,” Gibson said Monday, adding that he is in regular contact with Richey’s mother.
“Tess was a young, innocent girl,” Gibson said. “Obviously, nothing like this should happen to anybody.”
None of the allegations has been tested in court.