Nova Scotia

Missing Halifax woman was killed: police

Police are now treating the disappearance of a Halifax, N.S., woman as a homicide.

Taylor has not been seen since July

Police are now treating the disappearance of a Halifax, N.S., woman as a homicide.

Nadine Taylor's family reported her missing to police on July 31.

"Based on the on-going investigation, investigators believe Ms. Taylor has met with foul play and are treating the case as a homicide," Const. Brian Palmeter said Thursday in a media release.

Sources told CBC News the investigation is focused on Steven Laffin, a Dartmouth man charged with the aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping of another sex-trade worker.

Police have questioned Laffin, 37, about Taylor's disappearance, CBC News has learned. Officers spent several days searching Laffin's home in August. 

Taylor, a sex-trade worker, was last seen July 28. Police initially said there was no evidence to suggest the 29-year-old was the victim of foul play.

Rene Ross is the head of Stepping Stone, a Halifax-area organization dedicated to helping sex workers. She sent her "deepest condolences" to Taylor's family.

"We want to remind everyone that the death of a sex worker is the death of a human being," said Ross. "We all need to treat and recognize sex workers as people first and ensure justice is carried out against those committing the crimes, not the victims."

Stepping Stone has long argued that the criminalization of sex work increases violence against women involved in the trade.

Gene Hape, Taylor's boyfriend, said Taylor left her apartment on the evening of July 28 to make a phone call down the street because she does not have a phone. She did not return and he hasn't heard from her since.

"I was mad at first, 'How dare you?'" he told CBC News in August. "Then I got worried. That's when I called police."