Indigenous

Witness who found woman dead on Thunder Bay bike path says she appeared to have been beaten

A woman found dead on a bike trail known as the "black path" in Thunder Bay early Tuesday morning appeared to have been badly beaten, according to the passerby who found her body.

Man discovered woman dead shortly after midnight on Tuesday

Devin Galloway, 23, found the body of a woman along a bike trail known as the 'black path' in Thunder Bay. (CBC News)

A woman found dead on a bike trail known as the "black path" in Thunder Bay early Tuesday morning appeared to have been badly beaten, according to the passerby who found her body.

Devin Galloway, 23, said he was walking to buy cigarettes about 15 minutes after midnight when he found the woman face down in the middle of a section of the bike path near the Landmark Hotel.

"I seen the big lump on her face. I knew right away she got assaulted," he said.

"It looked bad."

Thunder Bay police are treating the death as a homicide.

The area where the woman was found has become locally known as the "black path" because of the number of deaths and assaults that have occurred along its stretches.

Marlan Patrick Chookomolin, 25, was found beaten and near death on the same bike path network shortly after midnight on June 25, 2017. He later died in hospital. His death remains unsolved.

In 2010, a 16-year-old girl was found dead in the area of the trail. Two teens were convicted in connection with her death.

Galloway said he thought the woman was unconscious at first and then realized it didn't seem that she was breathing. 

"I ran back [home] as fast as I could and called the cops," he said.

He said he returned to the scene with a police officer who turned the woman over and tried to resuscitate her to no avail.

He was interviewed at the scene and re-interviewed by detectives at his home on Tuesday morning.

"I feel bad for the family, if she has any kids or anything," he said.

About the Author

Jorge Barrera is a Caracas-born, award-winning journalist who has worked across the country and internationally. He works for CBC's Indigenous unit based out of Ottawa. Follow him on Twitter @JorgeBarrera or email him jorge.barrera@cbc.ca.