Florida Cops Confirm Death of Oluwatoyin Salau, Missing Black Lives Matter Activist
Black Lives Matter activist reported missing from Florida last week has been found dead, police in Tallahassee, Florida, confirmed Monday.
Authorities say Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, 19, was last seen in Tallahassee after a protest June 6. Fellow activists, with help from the local community, were working to locate Salau when police discovered her body alongside that of another missing woman, 75-year-old Victoria Sims, during a search Saturday.
Sims was reported missing June 11, according to police.
A suspect has been arrested in the case.
“The suspect in this case has been identified as Aaron Glee Jr, 49,” Officer Rachelle Denmark wrote in a press release Monday. “As stated earlier, he has been taken into custody. There is no further information to release at this time.”
On Sunday, Tallahassee police said they were investigating a double homicide after officers discovered two bodies “in the course of a follow up investigation in a missing person case,” according to a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.
“As the investigation continued, investigators developed a suspect,” authorities said. ”The suspect is now in custody.”
Neither the victims nor the suspect was immediately identified at the time.
In the hours before she disappeared, Salau tweeted about a sexual assault that had taken place earlier that day.
In a series of Twitter posts, she said she was “molested” by a black man who offered her a ride and a place to sleep. Salau had taken refuge at a local church to escape what she called “unjust living conditions,” according to her tweets.
“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street,” she wrote of her attacker. “I entered his truck only because I carry anything to defend myself … I trusted the holy spirit to keep me safe.”
Once at his home, Salau said the unidentified man allowed her to shower and offered a change of clothes. He then “exposed himself to (her)” and proceeded to harass her with unwanted “touching” and “rubbing,” she said. Salau said she escaped after the man had fallen asleep.
Her last tweet read: “Literally wearing this man’s clothes right now DNA all over me because I couldn’t locate his house the moment I called the police because couldn’t see.”
Fellow activists were shocked to learn of the young woman’s disappearance and organized a search to find her. The Tallahassee Community Action Agency also conducted a search June 10 and started a social media campaign to raise awareness about Salau’s disappearance, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
JusticeForToyin and Salau’s name trended on Twitter, with hundreds of thousands of tweets sent out about her disappearance.
“I’m shaking,” Jesula Jeannot, a 21-year-old organizer who befriended Salau through local protests, told the Tallahassee Democrat after her friend went missing.
Since news broke of her death, several have taken to social media to remember the young activist.
A GoFundMe campaign to assist in the search for Salau had raised more than $10,000 as of Monday. Donations are no longer being accepted.
The deaths of Salau and Sims remain under investigation, police said.