This Tess Richey murder timeline takes an in-depth look at the life of the vivacious young woman, the investigation into her shocking disappearance and death in Toronto’s Gay Village, and her alleged murderer’s trial.
Twenty-two-year-old Tess Richey, described as funny, sweet, and fierce, disappeared after a night out with an old high school friend in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, November 25, 2017.
|About Tess Richey|
|Birth||November 30, 1994 North Bay, Ontario|
|Death||November 25, 2017 Toronto, Ontario|
|Siblings||Rachel Richey, Varina Richey|
|Cause of Death||Strangulation|
|Accused Murderer||Kalen Schlatter|
Her body was found four days later, just steps away from her last known location.
Toronto police were sent to investigate, though it wasn’t the police who found her body.
Incredibly, Tess’ mother, Christine Hermeston, made the four-hour drive to Toronto from North Bay to conduct her own search.
But tragically, it would be too late…and she would be the one to discover her daughter’s body.
2016 – North Bay-Born Tess Richey Moves to Toronto
Tess Alexandra Drew Richey was born November 20, 1994. She was the youngest of five sisters.
She grew up in North Bay, Ontario, a city four hours north of Toronto. Tess attended E.W. Norman Public School and Widdifield Secondary School.
Described by family and friends as funny, clever, witty, sweet, caring, and giving, she was known to stand up for anybody who needed protection.
The young woman was a vegan and a member of PETA.
According to her Facebook profile, Richey was an avid runner and had completed several marathons. She was also an amateur photographer, and loved pearls, doing her makeup, fashion, and thrift store shopping.
After high school, Richey worked as assistant manager at the Day’s Inn in North Bay.
But she always had bigger plans.
In 2016, she moved to Toronto and enrolled in the Flight Services program at Seneca College. She also attended George Brown College for Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counselling and Advocacy.
At her apartment in Toronto, she tended to her collection of house plants and led a relatively normal life with her two faithful dogs, Phil and Pearl.
Older sister Rachel Richey described Tess as her best friend and soul mate. She characterized her sister as a hard worker who took on two part-time jobs after graduating from Seneca College in June 2017. According to her sister, Tess also applied for positions with airlines and for a front desk position at a Toronto hotel.
When neither of those efforts worked out, Tess Richey purchased the Rosetta Stone software program to learn Italian.
“She was on websites looking for au pair positions in Italy,” Rachel Richey said. “She wanted to travel. It was just something . . . she was transitioning,” Rachel said. “She felt ready to do it. She was working toward that goal.”
In fact, Tess even took to YouTube in 2014 to vlog about details of her move to Toronto in a video titled “My Story.” It was an emotional tell-all about an abusive relationship she was in with an ex-boyfriend while living in Toronto and attending school. Check it out below:
Aug. 2017 – Kalen Schlatter Saved Man From Being Bludgeoned to Death
In August 2017, four months before Richey’s murder, Toronto man Kalen Schlatter was hailed a hero for saving a life.
Police charged Whitley Hunter, 45, with attempted murder, relating to an attack that occurred in Earlscourt Park in the west end of Toronto on August 6, 2017. Police allege Hunter repeatedly struck a man in the head with a hammer. And that’s when Schlatter jumped in to stop the attack.
Global News interviewed Kalen Schlatter (his face is blurred in the video) calling him a “quick-thinking good Samaritan.”
Even though his face is blurred in the video and he’s not named, two friends have confirmed it was Schlatter.
According to reports about the attack, Schlatter confronted the attacker and said he was calling the police, and the attacker fled. Schlatter then applied pressure to the victim’s wounds until paramedics arrived.
The Toronto Police Service would not confirm if it is indeed Schlatter, as the department does not reveal names of witnesses.
But according to text messages sent between Schlatter and a friend following the attack, Schlatter explained the attack and that he saw a man in a park across the street from his home striking another person in the head with a hammer. He said ran over and chased the man away, shouting that he had called the police.
Further confirming that Schlatter was the hero in the park in August 2017, Schlatter’s mother Helga posted an account of the incident in a detailed Facebook post, which is now private.
“When I approached Kalen, he was covered in blood from head to toe,” Schlatter wrote. “I’m still stunned, proud and love him more than I can express.”
She also congratulated her son for having the “courage to stop a murder in progress” and stated that she loved him more than ever.
Nov. 24, 2017 – Rachel Spends Last “Perfect” Day with Tess
Rachel remembers November 24, her last day together with her sister, as being “perfect.”
“We sang, we ate, we played games, we joked, we talked,” she said. “It was a beautiful, beautiful afternoon. I’m very lucky.”
At around 11:30 p.m., Tess Richey left her sister Rachel’s home in Toronto to spend some time with Rayley Simard, an old high school friend.
“I remember coming back downstairs from putting my baby down and looking and seeing her walk out the front door. I saw her walk down my front path and that’s the last time I saw her.”
Nov. 25, 2017 – Tess Richey Murder Timeline
Approximately 12 a.m. – Crews and Tangos
So late Friday night, which would actually have been into the early Saturday hours, Tess Richey and her friend Rayley met up and spent some time drinking at Crews and Tangos. The place is a drag nightclub in the city’s Gay Village and popular hangout for students and young people.
Sometime After 1:30 a.m. – Richey and Simard Meet a Man
Sometime after leaving the club around 1:30 a.m., the two young women met up with an unknown (at that time) man. The trio was captured on security cameras at around 3:00 a.m. near a hot dog cart at the intersection of Church Street and We