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TORONTO - A woman in her 50s, who police say was likely walking home from work, is dead after being violently stabbed multiple times Tuesday morning in the Cabbagetown area.
The woman was walking down a laneway near a housing co-op at 85 Bleecker St. towards Ontario St. — in the Parliament and Carlton Sts. area — when she was attacked from behind by a man with a knife around 7 a.m.
She was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital, where she later died.
“There’s tremendous amount of video from this area,” homicide Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux told media at the scene. “We’re investigating the lifestyle of the victim, but at this point the video is going to be absolutely critical of what happened.”
Police released a one-minute YouTube video Tuesday evening, taken from security cameras at the co-op building, in an effort to identify the suspect, who appears to be wearing a bandana over his face and following the victim in the rain.
Giroux confirmed the woman was in fact walking home and is trying to figure out where she worked and whether it was in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. He doesn’t believe she was sexually assaulted and it remains unclear whether she was robbed.
The preliminary description of the suspect indicates he’s white, 5-foot-10, wearing dark clothes and a tuque or baseball cap.
“There’s a strong possibly the offender could have blood on his clothing,” Giroux said.
Paul Down, 46, was on his way to Tim Hortons when he and his friend noticed the woman being followed.
“I saw him pull something out of his jacket and it was a blade several inches long,” Down said,. “I heard him say ‘I’m going to stab you to death and then I’m going to have sex with your corpse.’ ”
That’s when he said he heard the woman screaming.
“My friend Dave saw this lady being stabbed repeatedly, about 10 to 20 times,” Down said. “Dave fought the dude off with an umbrella and then the guy dropped the blade after he stabbed her a couple more times.”
The suspect then ran south on Ontario St. towards Allan Gardens, Down recalled.
“There were a number of 911 calls that were made and there were a number of individuals that came to her assistance,” Giroux said. “I think it’s tremendous and obviously, I’ll be speaking to them and passing on our gratitude to them. My understanding is they’re providing a good narrative of what went on.”
Neighbours living in the co-op building attached to the laneway said they awoke to sounds of screaming.
“In this area, you can never tell what kind of screams they are,” said one woman, who didn’t want to be identified. “I saw the ambulance this morning, but didn’t know what happened. It makes me scared. I usually walk my dog around that time.”
Officers continued to comb the area for evidence hours after the brutal attack. In the cordoned-off laneway, police were investigating a single parking garage attached to a house.
The superintendent of the co-op pointed at three to four security cameras that capture movement in the alley.
“But it doesn’t capture everything, plus it’s too dark,” he said. “The camera points there and there.”
Police said they are treating this as an isolated incident in the beginning stages of their investigation. It is not yet clear whether the victim — whose name has not yet been released — knew her attacker.
An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.
Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.
In: Regional News
Tags: help, find, this, fucking, scumbag, piece, of, shit
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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