Toronto man charged with 2nd-degree murder after his mother's death

Toronto police say the city's first homicide victim of 2023 is Joy Barnwell. Her son, a 27-year-old man also from Toronto, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. (Michael Charles Cole/CBC - image credit)
Toronto police say the city's first homicide victim of 2023 is Joy Barnwell. Her son, a 27-year-old man also from Toronto, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. (Michael Charles Cole/CBC - image credit)

A 27-year-old Toronto man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with his mother's death.

In a news update late Thursday afternoon, Toronto police Const. Alex Li said police had identified Toronto resident Joy Barnwell, 70, as the victim of the city's first homicide of 2023.

"I want to reassure the public that this is an isolated incident," said Li.

Barnwell's 27-year-old son, Michael Rawlins of Toronto, appeared in court Thursday, Li said.

Barnwell was found in "medical distress with injuries" when first responders were called to the area of Finch Avenue East and Seneca Hill Drive in North York around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone who might have seen or heard anything unusual in the area, to come forward or to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.