Mis­sis­sauga com­mu­nity in shock af­ter teen boy’s slay­ing

Body of 14-year-old found in laneway, in what Peel po­lice be­lieve was ‘iso­lated in­ci­dent’

Toronto Star - - FRONT PAGE - JA­SON MILLER STAFF RE­PORTER LOUIE ROSELLA MIS­SIS­SAUGA NEWS

The dis­cov­ery of a boy found dead in a Mis­sis­sauga laneway Fri­day morn­ing has left lo­cal res­i­dents reel­ing, af­ter a record-break­ing year of homi­cides in the re­gion claimed an­other vic­tim un­der the age of 16.

The boy, who was found near Mis­sis­sauga’s Meadow Park, has been iden­ti­fied by friends as 14-year-old Ri­ley Martin.

Martin, sev­eral of his friends said, was a stu­dent at Clark­son Sec­ondary School, which is about two kilo­me­tres south­west of where his body was found — near Hart­ing­ton Court, close to Tr­us­cott Dr. and South­down Rd.

Stella Tomisik, 16, said she knew Martin and spoke with him last in the sum­mer. “I’m in tears,” she said. “I’m shak­ing.”

Peel po­lice say Martin’s body was found by a passerby just be­fore 8 a.m. Fri­day morn­ing in a laneway con­nect­ing a res­i­den­tial cul-de-sac to a park at­tached to the school­yard of a French school, École élé­men­taire Hori­zon Je­unesse.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve this is an iso­lated in­ci­dent,” po­lice said in a news re­lease Fri­day af­ter­noon. “There is no sus­pect in­for­ma­tion at this time.”

Const. Danny Mart­tini said po­lice were still in the process of iden­ti­fy­ing the boy Fri­day.

Mart­tini added that the homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion was trig­gered by ev­i­dence of trauma to the vic­tim’s body. Po­lice did not com­ment on whether weapons were in­volved, or if there were signs of a strug­gle.

“It is be­lieved that the boy left his nearby home, late evening on Thurs­day. Un­for­tu­nately, I don’t know if he was in the com­pany of any­one,” she told re­porters. “It’s def­i­nitely pos­si­ble that he was there overnight.”

“To my knowl­edge he was not re­ported miss­ing,” she said.

By Fri­day af­ter­noon, po­lice could be seen out­side a home on Tr­us­cott Dr., about 200 me­tres from the laneway where the boy’s body was found.

At about 1:30 p.m., fire­fight­ers crossed the po­lice tape block­ing ac­cess to the cul-de-sac, then re­moved a tarp that had been ob­struct­ing the view of the laneway, where of­fi­cers were ac­tively work­ing.

Foren­sic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of­fi­cers were spot­ted comb­ing through the laneway.

Res­i­dents in the area said the in­ci­dent is trau­ma­tiz­ing for peo­ple walk­ing by the area. “A lot of po­lice cars and no one is telling us much,” said Jesse Quin­tano, on In­sta­gram. “I walk by there all the time.”

Carla Pereira, spokesper­son for the Peel Dis­trict School Board, said she could not con­firm Martin was a stu­dent with the board, but said that, in cases where there is a death or a violent in­ci­dent in the com­mu­nity, schools will al­ways bring in ad­di­tional sup­ports to help stu­dents and staff if nec­es­sary.

Mary Zam­mit, the prin­ci­pal of Clark­son Sec­ondary School, in­formed par­ents in a let­ter about “an in­ci­dent that took place in our school com­mu­nity,” but said she could not of­fer any more in­for­ma­tion about the boy’s death be­cause of the on­go­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The let­ter said there was no in­di­ca­tion from po­lice that there was a con­nec­tion be­tween the homi­cide and an in­ci­dent Mon­day that led to the school be­ing placed in a hold-and-se­cure sta­tus. In that in­ci­dent, a 19-year-old man was charged af­ter an on­line threat to kill a Clark­son stu­dent.

When the prin­ci­pal of Hori­zon Je­unesse, which serves kids Kinder­garten to Grade 6, ar­rived at the school, shortly af­ter 8 a.m., po­lice were al­ready on scene, said Claire Fran­coeur, com­mu­ni­ca­tion di­rec­tor of Con­seil Scholaire Vi­a­monde, which man­ages the French- lan­guage pub­lic schools in cen­tral south­west­ern On­tario.

Un­aware of what was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, the prin­ci­pal asked if it was nec­es­sary to put the school on a hold-and-se­cure or­der, which is how schools re­spond to threats and in­ci­dents in the area.

Po­lice said there was no risk to stu­dents, but that it would be bet­ter if they stayed in­side dur­ing re­cess and lunch while po­lice car­ried out their in­ves­ti­ga­tion. They set up a com­mand cen­tre on school prop­erty.

Staff later learned from me­dia re­ports that po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of a boy.

“We made sure we had a so­cial worker on site, be­cause there was a lot of po­lice around,” said Fran­coeur. “We wanted to be sure that we were tak­ing care of them (stu­dents and staff ) and they could talk.”

“This is re­ally, re­ally sad …. Our thoughts are with the (vic­tim’s) kid’s fam­ily,” she added.

Ger­ald Ou­bin, who lives near Meadow Park, said he didn’t ob­serve any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity in the area when he went out cy­cling at about 5 a.m. Fri­day. Just hours later, po­lice had filled the quaint neigh­bour­hood near Mis­sis­sauga’s south shores.

Shown a photo of the boy, lo­cal res­i­dent Natalie Ka­vanagh con­firmed that the boy lived at the Tr­us­cott Drive home with his par­ents.

“He’s a cute kid,” said Ka­vanagh. “I’ve seen him around. I think there are two boys there.”

The boy’s death comes nearly 10 years to the day af­ter the mur­der of a 13-year-old in Clark­son dev­as­tated the com­mu­nity. Alek­san­dra Fir­gan-He- wie was killed on Dec. 10, 2008. Her much older male friend was con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der in the case.

In Toronto, five of the city’s record-break­ing 92 homi­cide vic­tims this year have been16 or un­der, in­clud­ing three boys killed in the past four months.

Durham Re­gional Po­lice have also in­ves­ti­gated homi­cides in­volv­ing youth 16 and un­der this year, in­clud­ing the triple homi­cide in March in Ajax: Roy Pe­j­ci­novski, 15, Ve­nal­lia Pe­j­ci­novski, 13, along­side their mother, Kras­simira Pe­j­ci­novski, 39. Cory Fenn, 29, of Ajax, is charged with three counts of first-de­gree mur­der. Po­lice say two of the vic­tims were stabbed while a third was as­phyx­i­ated.

RIZIERO VERTOLLI METROLAND

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate af­ter a body was found near Hart­ing­ton Court on Fri­day.

JA­SON MILLER TORONTO STAR

Fire­fight­ers re­move a tarp used to block the view of a laneway where a body was be­lieved found.

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