The man accused of murdering a young woman in Toronto’s gay village will be back in court on Jan. 17 for a judicial pre-trial.
Kalen Schlatter has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Tess Richey.
Richey went missing on Nov. 25, 2017 near the area of Church and Wellesley after a night out with a friend.
Four days later her body was found by her mother in a stairwell at the back of an alley on Church Street, just steps away from where the young woman was last seen.
Police said Richey died of “neck compression.”
Schlatter was arrested on Dec. 2, 2017 and in August his request for bail was denied.
The 21-year-old Toronto man was initially charged with second-degree murder in February but the charge was elevated to first-degree murder in March when new evidence emerged, police have said.
Police have said Richey and Schlatter did not know each other prior to the night of her disappearance. They said Richey met Schlatter on the street after she and her friend left a bar.
Investigators also have said surveillance video released by investigators shows Schlatter and Richey together near the alley where her body was found by her mother.
Police faced public criticism for their failure to find Richey after her disappearance. In June two officers were charged with misconduct under the Police Services Act in connection with the case.
Richey’s death, and several other disappearances connected to the gay village – eight of which resulted in first degree murder charges against 66-year-old self-employed landscaper Bruce McArthur – led community members to say police were not adequately protecting them.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announced in December that the force would review its handling of missing persons cases.