Homicide investigators are seeking to identify an unknown male linked to the death of missing 22-year-old Tess Richey after her body was found in Toronto last week.
Police said the woman was located on Wednesday, Nov. 29 outside an abandoned building near Church and Wellesley streets, four days after she disappeared.
Global News received confirmation from a family member of Richey that it was her mother that found her body.
Police said a post-mortem exam shows she died from “neck compression,” but wouldn’t elaborate more on the nature of the injuries.
Authorities had initially said Richey’s body had no visible signs of trauma and that they didn’t believe the death was suspicious.
Police spokesperson David Hopkinson told Global News they had initially thought it was an accident, and that the investigation is in it’s preliminary stages.
Police said Richey was in the company of an unknown male when her friend departed the area of Wellesley Street and Dundonald Street between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
The male is described as white, approximately 5’7” to 6’ tall, with a slim build and light-coloured short hair.
Professional Standards Unit investigating
Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash told Global News the professional standards unit is looking into “the initial stages” of the investigation, specifically when it was a missing persons case.
“We have our own concerns and we’re acting on those concerns,” Pugash said. “I don’t want to discuss what those might be, but we do have concerns that we are looking at.”
He added there is no evidence to suggest that the case wasn’t taken seriously initially.
READ MORE: Missing Toronto woman found dead: police
As for public criticism as to how officers handle missing persons cases, Pugash said they take every case serious and that a vast majority of the many instances each year are resolved safely.
“Anybody who is a relative of someone who is missing, to them that is the most important case in the world and we understand that.”
Pugash also emphasized the homicide unit is going “full speed ahead” with the investigation and are working diligently.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.
VIDEO: Body of missing Toronto woman discovered
—With a file from Rebecca Joseph
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