Police work leads as community remembers Nighisti Semret
A prayer service goes on Sunday at St. Michael Eritrean Orthodox Church for Cabbagetown murder victim Nighisti Semret.
As the community remembers the 55-year old hotel worker, detectives with the Toronto Police Homicide Squad are working hard to stay on top of the flood of tips they have received from the public.
Explaining that "dozens" of leads have been called in, Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux says his team has been expanded to a dozen members, all working to follow up on the information that has come to light since Semret was stabbed to death on the morning of October 23rd.
"If I have to double the team or triple the team, I'll do it," he says.
Giroux is poring over security video, trying to map out the route that Semret took home.
It was raining the morning she was killed, so she may have taken a different path to stay dry.
Video shows a man in a dark coat following Semret in the moments before was stabbed to death and Giroux believes the man was holding the knife that ended up becoming the murder weapon.
At this point, police believe that Semret and her killer did not know each other and so cannot pin down a motive.
Giroux believes that the suspect lives in or is at least known in the neighbourhood.
"I'll maintain that the individual is there (in Cabbagetown) and is known in that particular area."
"We're really keeping the push on in the Cabbagetown area to think about people that they have concerns about who might conduct themselves in this type of way and to call us," he says.
Giroux says police will follow up with and interview people who tipsters who have identified as possible suspects.
"Each and every one of them ... need to be ruled in or ruled out and that takes time."
In an attempt to drum up more tips, police are expected to release photos of the clothing Semret was wearing on the morning she was killed. Giroux says the lighting on security video released to the public makes Semret's clothing appear to be a different colour.
Those photos are expected to be made public some time on Sunday.