By: Murissa Barrington
Tess Richey, the 22-year-old woman missing since Saturday night has been found dead, police say.
It’s a heart-wrenching end to a desperate search by Richey’s family and thousands of others on social media to bring home their “baby.”
Today would have been her 23rd birthday.
Toronto Police media relations officer Const. Allison Douglas-Cook said Richey was found in the Church and Dundonald Street area; the same area where she was last seen.
Douglas-Cook said at this point in the investigation there is nothing that indicates Richey’s death was suspicious but the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
“Just to be cautious we will investigate it as suspicious to make sure that we cover everything and we will investigate it as such until we can prove otherwise,” said Douglas-Cook.
Richey’s high school friend Ryley Simard told CBC News that the pair hadn’t seen each other in over two years and decided to meet up for a night out.
Simard said she and Richey went to Crews & Tangos on Friday, Nov. 24, a bar in the Church and Wellesley area, and were very intoxicated by the time they left at 1:30 a.m.
The pair then met with an unidentified man and woman and hung out in front of the woman’s Dundonald Street home for several hours. It’s unclear how the pair came to meet the man and woman.
At approximately 4 a.m., Simard said she left the group on DonDonald and went home.
It would be the last time that a loved one would see Richey alive.
Richey’s family said the last form of contact they had with her was from an Uber message at around 4 a.m that indicates Richey may have ordered an Uber but never got in.
The young woman’s sister, Rachel, told CBC she tried texting Richey on Saturday morning at around 8 a.m., but when her sister didn’t respond, Rachel figured she was sleeping.
As the hours went by and her texts remained unanswered, Rachel grew concerned about her sister’s whereabouts and the family filed a missing persons report with Toronto Police.
The Seneca College student’s disappearance spurred a widespread search effort on social media with thousands of people sharing and retweeting photos of Richey, pleading for her return.
“IT’S HER BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!! LET’S BRING HER HOME TODAY!!” read the heartbreaking Tweet from sister Rachel Richey Wednesday.
IT'S HER BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!! LET'S BRING HER HOME!!! pic.twitter.com/y19I2sWiOk
— Rachel Richey (@Rachelpeabody) November 29, 2017
— Norm Kelly (@norm) November 28, 2017
Police say that investigators are speaking with the man and woman who were last seen with Richey, along with any other possible witnesses who might have seen her in her that night.
“They’re(Investigators) also looking at video in the area…canvassing all of the neighbours, the residents and the businesses in the area just to see if anyone else has anything further,” Douglas-Cook said.
Another woman, Earim Asgar, 33, went missing in the same Church and Wellesley area on the same night Richey disappeared at 8 p.m.
Police say Asgar was located shortly after she went missing and don’t have reason to believe the incidents are connected in any way at this time.
“We are trying to touch on all areas and make sure we have all the information we need so we can feel comfortable with whatever we’ve been able to conclude from the situation.”