Ramsey Whitefish leaves College Park Court in 2004 after the two police officers accused of assaulting him were acquitted. (TONY BOCK / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)
By Black Powder | Red Power Media, Staff, May 20, 2016
Suspect arrested for Toronto’s 30th homicide after aboriginal man found dead
Police have identified an aboriginal man found dead in Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village earlier this week as 42-year-old Ramsey Whitefish.
According to a Toronto Police Service News Release, on Wednesday, May 18, at 12:04 a.m., police responded to an Unknown Trouble call in the Yonge Street and Gloucester Street area.
Whitefish was found in front of 60 Gloucester St and was pronounced dead on the scene, says the Daily Xtra.
He had suffered obvious physical trauma.
Whitefish’s family has been notified of his death.
The Toronto Star reports, Whitefish, for some two decades, since arriving in the city from a reserve in the Turtle Island area — Whitefish was part Sioux, part Ojibway — had been among the chronically homeless, with its drastic over-representation of aboriginals that can be found to be sleeping rough, that is outside, in parks, on benches and inside doorways.
“He was always on the fringe of homelessness,” says Joe Hester, executive director of Anishnawbe Health Toronto, where Whitefish had once volunteered, sometimes going on street patrols, and where he’d shown up with an issue just a few days before his murder. “Homeless people are generally vulnerable people that don’t have what the rest of us take for granted — a stable environment, family, friends, shelter. He was a vulnerable individual.’’
Police are shown at the scene of a suspicious death investigation on Gloucester Street near Yonge Street early Wednesday morning.
Suspect charged with second-degree murder
Detective Paul Worden told CP24, Whitefish frequented the downtown core, but was living in a rooming house near where he was found. Police had been called to the rooming house within the last 48 hours regarding a disturbance between Whitefish and his roommate, he said.
Homicide investigators believe Whitefish was attacked by his roommate. A rock found at the scene – roughly the size of a bowling ball – is believed to have been used in the assault, Worden said.
A suspect was arrested after investigators learned that he was appearing at Old City Hall, Wednesday morning on another matter.
Trevor Severin, 24, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Whitefish.
Severin, appeared in mental health court on Thursday. He was determined to be mentally unfit for the proceeding. A treatment order was issued for psychiatric assessment, with a next court date of June 24.
Whitefish is Toronto’s 30th homicide this year.
No family member has yet come forward to claim Whitefish’s body. But there are plans to hold a memorial — sending-home ceremony — for Whitefish.