Questions raised as body of transgender person found in ravine
There is no indication yet that the body is that of 27-year-old Alloura Wells, a transgender woman who was homeless, stayed in the general area and has been missing for months.
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Advocates are criticizing Toronto police for not alerting the public after the body of a transgender person was found at Rosedale Ravine on Aug. 5.
There is no indication yet that the body is that of 27-year-old Alloura Wells, a transgender woman who was homeless, stayed in the general area and has been missing for months. But those searching for her are concerned about a lack of communication from police and others.
Toronto police apologized earlier this month after Wells' friends and family said the force didn’t give the case due attention when her father reported her missing on Nov. 5.
Wells has not been heard from since July and had limited contact with her family. Friends have said they were slow to report her missing because they thought she might be in prison.
Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project searched for Wells at the ravine on Nov. 11.
“If anyone’s found dead and police can’t identify them, they go to the general public,” said Monica Forrester, co-ordinator at Maggie’s. “They give as much information as they can to get leads. They never did that at all.”
Rebecca Price, who found the body and called police, said she alerted The 519 by email on Aug. 17. The local LGBTQ advocacy group responded on Aug. 25, she said, telling her they would get more information. She was dismayed, though, that the group didn’t make a public statement between then and the time Wells was reported missing. Price contacted Maggie's after they began speaking out about the case.
The 519 did not return Metro's request for comment.
“Who else are you supposed to contact? You think they’re going to do something about it. They’re the place for the LGBTQ community," Price said of The 519.
She also rebuked police, from whom she had tried to get additional information.
“I’ve never been contacted by them,” she said. “Never heard back once. Nothing. There was nothing in the news about that body. Not even on the police website.”
A Toronto Police Service spokesperson told Metro they are waiting for DNA test results on the body to see if it might be a match with Wells.
Police did not respond by deadline to a Metro email questioning the timeline of events since Aug. 5, but a spokesperson said 51 Division is looking into the matter.
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