Kalen Schlatter, man accused of killing Tess Richey, appears in court by video
Trial for Kalen Schlatter won’t begin for about two years, according to lead investigator
Police are still hoping to learn more about Kalen Schlatter, the 21-year-old man accused of killing Tess Richey, 22, in November, 2017.
Schlatter, charged with second-degree murder in Richey's death, appeared by video in a Toronto courtroom on Thursday.
Det. Ted Lioumanis, the lead investigator in Richey's case, said police are urging anyone who knew Schlatter, whether recently or while he was growing up, to get in touch with police.
"We'd like to know more about who Mr. Schlatter is," Lioumanis told CBC Toronto.
He said police will disclose more information to the Crown in Schlatter's next hearing, scheduled for two weeks from now.
Trial may not start for 2 years
Lioumanis said he doesn't think the case will go to trial for about two years.
Family members of the victim appeared in court and gathered outside the room following the hearing. They were visibly upset after seeing Schlatter and declined to be interviewed.
Lioumanis said Richey's family is grateful for police efforts.
"They wanted to be here, they wanted to see Mr.Schlatter," Lioumanis said. "I couldn't even imagine what they are going through...they are very sombre, it's a hard, hard situation to deal with."
Schlatter met Richey the night she went missing
Schlatter was charged with second-degree murder on Feb. 5, 2018.
Richey had gone missing on Nov. 25, 2017 after a night out in the Church and Wellesley area. Her body was found four days later by her mother and a family friend at the base of a stairwell, close to where she was last seen.
Her cause of death was determined to be neck compression, or strangulation, and the death was ruled a homicide.
Police say they became aware of Schlatter early in the investigation, and that they believe the two met for the first time that evening.
They found security images of Richey and her friend Ryley Simard after leaving a nightclub, walking with a man they said they believe is Schlatter.
The three stopped to talk to two strangers, one of whom said she believes the Facebook photo of Schlatter is the man she saw with Richey and Simard.
'The community has been great'
Lioumanis said the community has been responsive with assisting police in the investigation.
"The community has been great," he said. "They were very helpful — video surveillance, witnesses that came forward — the concern was definitely in the community, which was nice to see that they did come forward."
Lioumanis said police have additional video surveillance to review and witnesses to interview, but information from anyone who knew him would help.
"It won't be the turning point in the case, I think we have a very good case, but more evidence is always good," he said.