News / Toronto

Body found in Rosedale ravine identified as Alloura Wells

Transgender woman was discovered in August, but Toronto police issued a statement saying it needed help from a forensics lab to confirm victim’s name.

Toronto police identified a body found in a Rosedale ravine over the summer as missing transgendered woman Alloura Wells.

Toronto Police Service

Toronto police identified a body found in a Rosedale ravine over the summer as missing transgendered woman Alloura Wells.

Following a DNA test, the Toronto Police Service confirmed Thursday that a body found on Aug. 5 at Rosedale Ravine is that of Alloura Wells, who had been missing since July.

Police had come under fire from Wells’ family and friends over their handling of her disappearance. They felt police did not take their concerns seriously when they first tried to report her missing, as she was a transgender woman known to work in the sex trade.

Wells, who was homless, had not been reported missing until November, as friends thought she could have been in prison.

After first publicizing Wells' disappearance on Nov. 8, police were criticized for failing to alert the public to the discovery of the body, even though it was known since August to be that of a transgender woman. Advocates said this detail might have helped the identification process.

“If anyone’s found dead and police can’t identify them, they go to the general public,” Monica Forrester of Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project previously told Metro. “They give as much information as they can to get leads. They never did that at all.”

The woman who found the body, Rebecca Price, previously told Metro she reached out to both police and LGBTQ advocacy group The 519 but heard little from them. Police did, however, tell Price days after the discovery that the body was transgender.

The 519 has since said it did not alert the wider community as it couldn’t confirm the information and wanted to avoid panic.

Police at 51 Division said they did not go public because the body was in an unidentifiable condition.

“On Aug. 5, 2017, police responded to a call for a body found in the area of Rosedale Valley Road,” Thursday’s release reads. “This person was not easily identified, and police sought the assistance of the Centre of Forensic Sciences.

“Because of the possible link between Alloura Wells and this investigation, police submitted further information to the Centre of Forensic Sciences, with the assistance of a family member.” 

Police said the probe into Wells’ case has been passed to 53 Division, and an investigation into the cause of death is underway.

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