Police now searching for transgender woman missing for more than 3 months
Alloura Wells and family had fallen on hard times, father says
Friends and family are looking for a transgender Toronto woman who they say has been missing for over three months.
Alloura Wells, who also goes by the names Alloura Wheeler and Alloura Hennessy, was always on Facebook, those close to her say, and her dormant page set off red flags.
Toronto police issued a news release Wednesday afternoon about the search for Wells. In the release, police say they are concerned for her safety.
"Her main form of communication was Facebook, so not being on Facebook since July was really alarming. And then with the rumour mill about her being dead, OD'd, that's where I took about having conversations with her sister," Monica Forrester, a program coordinator at sex worker support centre Maggie's, told CBC Toronto.
Father went to police on Sunday
Wells's father, Michael, last spoke with her in March and only contacted police about her disappearance on Sunday. He said he felt his daughter's disappearance wasn't taken seriously.
"He gave me the non-emergency number and said, 'Oh, you can call that and you could make a report through them,'" he said of the officer. "It's kind of ridiculous. He could have started [the report]."
Mark Pugash, the director of corporate communications for the Toronto Police Service, says the superintendent of of 51 Division is now personally involved in the case.
"If the first response by people connected to the family indicated lack of urgency, that is not the response of this organization," Pugash told CBC Toronto.
Wells and her family had recently fallen on hard times, her father said. She was a regular at Maggie's drop-ins on Wednesdays, but things began taking a turn when Wells lost her mother. She also started using drugs, was homeless and had run-ins with the law.
Despite her struggles, those who knew her describe her as a caring person who was popular with others.
"She was a great person, she was really funny and sweet and a really nice person. She had a lot of friends in the community," Jennifer Porter, a Maggie's volunteer, said. "It's weird that she's just dropped off the face of the earth. We're all really worried about her."
Those close to her are now hoping to find some answers. Maggie's is hosting a community planning meeting on Friday with a community search on Saturday, after last weekend's community search was cut short due to the weather.
"We need police support and we need community support to help find her to and give us some answers and give her family answers," Forrester added.
With files from Lorenda Reddekopp