DNA could bring new life to Cabbagetown murder investigation
Who killed Nighisti Semret?
More than 3 months after the Eritrean refugee was stabbed to death in a Cabbagetown alleyway, Toronto Police are still short on answers about her final moments.
The wife & mother of 4 was murdered a rainy October morning as she walked home from her shift as an overnight cleaner at the Delta Chelsea Hotel.
There's hope that forensic testing could give investigators a solid lead.
DNA has been found under Semret's fingernails. Her nail clippings are being tested by the Center for Forensic Sciences.
It may be too soon to call this a breakthrough through. Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux says often murder victims have their own DNA under their nails because of blood at the scene.
Giroux says if testing shows there's foreign DNA embedded beneath Semret's nails, especially a male profile, he'll consider releasing that information.
The results could take months to come back, but Giroux has been keeping pressure on the center since Semret's murder is high profile. The clothes Semret was wearing & the bag & umbrella she was carrying when she died are also being tested.
Despite a land, dumpster & sewer search of Cabbagetown, police haven't found the knife used to kill Semret. Based on the way surveillance video shows the killer ran off, Giroux suspects he took the blade with him.
Police are still trying to figure out who Semret's killer is. Giroux says they're following up with people who have concerns about certain people in the area, but calls the process "quite a large task". It doesn't help that many tips cops are receiving are vague.
He's a white man of medium build with dark eyebrows. He was wearing a heavy, dark-coloured 3/4 length coat with round buttons on the cuffs & a light-coloured scarf tied at the back.
He also wore a dark hat with a peak that could be leather. His dark pants looked to be baggy, his shoes dark & worn-looking.
If you have any information, call police 416-808-7400 or contact Crime Stoppers.