In the early morning hours of November 25, 2017, a Young Woman went missing in Toronto, Ontario.
Five days later, she was found. Dead. Steps from where she was last seen.
The reality that Tess Richey is gone, truly gone, is an insufferable conclusion. That her body was found on the eve of her 23rd birthday deepens the cruelty of her fate.
On the night of her disappearance, Tess went to a club with a high school friend she hadn’t seen for a few years. The pair drank to the point of extreme intoxication and parted ways around 4:00 am.
The friend made it home. Tess did not.
Why did they leave each other?
This plays in my head and irks the hell out of me. We are vulnerable without a pack or a buddy. We are especially vulnerable at 4:00 am after a night of drinking in the streets of a big city.
I know it sounds cliche…or old, but my generation (X),
never left a friend behind. Ever.
The cause of death is Neck Compression, not Death by Misadventure as originally presumed. It was initially thought that Tess hit her head after falling down some stairs, or she passed out into an alcohol induced coma, and never woke up. The Police were quick to assume her death was “Misadventure”, even without a coroners report. But, like many things since Tess’ disappearance – they were off the mark.
So my dear readers, let’s not take our safety for granted, or ever try to temp fate in a similar situation. Follow a buddy system.
Buddy System Rules
- Share a cab or Uber when possible.
- Put intoxicated friends, acquaintances, and strangers (I’ve done this loads) into a cab and ensure the driver has good instructions.
- Plan a sleepover if you are expecting a heavy night.
- If necessary, ride along and make sure they get inside.
- Never leave anyone behind. If you go together, leave together.
- Text when you arrive home safely.
- Don’t drink alone.
- Remember safety in numbers
The night of her disappearance, Tess called an Uber, but it was cancelled. This is what alerted her Family to trouble. It was uncharacteristic for Tess not to check in with her tribe. She was the youngest of five girls. Their baby. Her death has obliterated their hearts. There are no words that can heal them. This can’t be fixed.
But something can be learned. Tess might still be with us if she stayed in the company of her friend. We must realize our vulnerabilities. One misjudged moment can alter our fates and impact the lives of our loved ones forever.
The Richey Family reported Tess missing, and the Police issued a standard notice:
“they were concerned for her Safety”
Yet, how much they did after that is unclear. Family and friends pounded the pavement day and night, posting flyers and talking to the community – desperate to find Tess. It was five exhaustive days before Tess was found. Not by the Police, or by a stranger, but by her Mom. Her Mom found her baby girl steps from where she was last reported to be seen.
Once her body was discovered, various media printed that Tess was an escort and stripper. These circulations got it wrong, and like the Police, these publications missed the mark.
Tess was not a female escort. But, what if she was? Would her death be less significant? If a young woman works as a stripper….is her life devalued? Is she not worth saving?
All life is precious. Tess Richey does not deserve to be scandalized or slandered after her life was cut tragically short. Her family does not deserve more unnecessary cruelty.
The Toronto Police blundered, and certain news agencies posted slanderous allegations as facts. Hopefully Toronto Homicide works with fervor and her killer is found soon. Tess deserves justice and her family deserves answers.
The press should focus on the loss of a beautiful young woman
“who loved animals and wanted to travel the world.”
A woman, loved my many and fiercely adored by her sisters and Mother.
* This article is being shared to you with the approval of the Richey Family. Varina is a friend of mine and the eldest of the Richey Girls. She and her family are struggling greatly. We can’t heal them with words, but we can help them with kindness.
Please see a post shared by Varina today:
We have a very long road ahead of us and have all had to quit or forfeit our jobs and will need to travel regularly between North Bay and Toronto for the foreseeable future. One family member is not covered under any drug plan in Canada. For this we only ask for practicalities and that’s only if you feel like helping the family in some way. E gift cards to places like grocery stores, gas stations, Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart can be sent to [email protected] and would be very useful.
For anyone wishing to help the family with a monetary donation, please contact Erin Sigouin-Jurynec for banking information.
We strongly condemn the practices of fundraising websites such as *go fund me* etc as anyone profiting off the suffering, death, illness or injury of another human being or animal is something that Tess never ever stood for, especially in her name.
Again we thank you for your continued kind words, love and support.
The RicheysPay Varina Richey using PayPal.MeGo to paypal.me/VarinaR and type in the amount. Since it’s PayPal, it’s easy and secure. Don’t have a PayPal account? No worries. Getting one is fast and free.PAYPAL.ME
Please send them love and light.
RIP sweet Tess.
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