The remains of Harley Walker, the 72-year-old gay Cabbagetown resident who went missing last October under violent circumstances, were found by police on May 3. Walker’s decomposed body was discovered buried in Norland, approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Toronto.
“Aided by the canine unit we [OPP and Toronto homicide investigators] found a clandestine grave off a roadway leading to an area camp,” says lead investigator Det Sgt Pauline Gray of Toronto’s homicide department.
The decomposed remains of the retired CBC technician had to be identified via dental records after a complete autopsy was carried out by the Centre For Forensic Science’s pathology unit in Toronto over the weekend of May 5.
Walker had disappeared from his home on Oct 13, 2006. He was suspected murdered after police found blood and signs of violence at his Cabbagetown home.
Mississauga investment banker David Kenton Reid, 46, was arrested and charged with first degree murder by police on Oct 28, 2006 at his cottage in Coboconk, not far from where Walker’s remains were found. Police allege the two men met via a gay Internet dating site and that Reid stabbed Walker to death in the chest after a violent struggle.
Gray says the investigation indicates that the two men “had been acquaintances for several months” and had met a few times. Walker’s credit cards were then used by Reid which helped police to identify him as the suspect. Police say that Reid rented a van to take Walker’s remains and buried them up north.
“Walker was a remarkably urbane and sophisticated Torontonian who knew and helped a lot of people people,” says Gray. “He was a a true gentleman.”
She maintains that the killing was financially motivated, but said that, contary to earlier reports, she had no knowledge of Walker’s bank accounts having been emptied after his disappearance.
“He was killed for his money,” says Gray. “He had not been very careful on the Internet.”
Gray says that no murder weapon has been discovered as yet and declined to say if Reid helped police to locate the grave.
Reid remains in jail where he has been since late October awaiting a preliminary hearing for first-degree murder.
Gray thanked the public for assisting in the investigation. “There has been tremendous cooperation and and an outpouring of support from the gay community over the difficult seven months since the murder.”