Memorial service held for girl whose body was found in Toronto dumpster one year ago
TORONTO — Dozens of community members gathered Saturday at a Toronto church for a memorial service to honour a girl whose body was found in a nearby dumpster one year ago.
Attendees wore scarves that were knitted by members of Rosedale Presbyterian Church to resemble the colours of two blankets that were found wrapped around the girl's body — a butterfly patterned baby blanket, and a burgundy and red blanket.
The girl, believed to be between four and seven years old, has still not been identified by police, who continue to investigate what happened to her.
Police have said the girl was likely never reported missing before her body was found in a construction bin outside a home in the city's wealthy Rosedale neighbourhood on May 2, 2022.
Rev. Daniel Cho of the Rosedale Presbyterian Church, which hosted the service, said he and other members of his congregation wanted to honour and remember the girl's life with the memorial service.
He said the event also aims to raise awareness about the unsolved case.
"The primary purpose of this is just to bring people together as a collective community to give ourselves an opportunity to mourn, to grieve, to remember a precious innocent life," Cho said in an interview.
"Someone who was discovered in those circumstances and we still don't know her name — she shouldn't be forgotten."
Cho said the community has been affected by her death.
"We've been able to speak with several of the residents in the Rosedale area and they've been telling us that they remember this story. They've been grieving," he said.
"It's a shocking story for her to be abandoned like this."
Lee MacGregor, who attended the service, said the girl's story has touched her because there are many unanswered questions surrounding her story.
"It tugs at me to wonder what might have happened. How could we let one of our little ones get away like this?" she said.
"It is really good to see the community coming together like this and I believe that the answers will be found."
Sarah Taman, who lives in the area where the girl's body was found, said it was important to people in the community to remember the girl.
"It was very upsetting a year ago when they found that child and everybody was very distressed," she said. "We didn't know what we could do about it."
Several investigators of the Toronto Police Service attended the event to show support to the community.
Det. Sgt. Renee Foley said police are working diligently to identify the girl.
"One of the more frustrating aspects of police work is that we are not always able to share with the community the amount of work that is being done in the background," she said.
"We have come through and investigated dozens of tips, hundreds of hours of surveillance video and many missing persons occurrences from across the continent."
She said investigators have also been using genetic genealogy analysis to try to identify the girl.
"One year ago, we promised that we would identify this young girl. We have made great strides in our investigation," she said.
"We will find the answers."
Last June, the force said its investigators contacted lead detectives in every single missing child case in Canada at the time and found no evidence to link any of those cases to the girl found in the Toronto dumpster.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2023.
Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press