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Toronto police create 1st-ever missing persons unit in wake of McArthur investigation

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Toronto police have created the service’s first-ever dedicated missing persons unit in the wake of the Bruce McArthur investigation and public scrutiny around how the cases of his alleged victims were handled.

Jean-Guy Cloutier experienced that process first-hand eight years ago. He was the best friend of one of McArthur’s alleged victims.

Cloutier and Skandaraj ‘Skanda’ Navaratnam used to text each other every morning, so when he didn’t hear from him for several days, Cloutier reported him missing.

In the years since, Cloutier says he thought about his friend every day, hoping to catch sight of him on the subway and wondering if the man he thought of like a brother was safe somewhere. 

Skandaraj Navaratnam, known to friends as Skanda, went missing in 2010. (CBC)

That is until February, when a detective informed him police had recovered Navaratnam’s remains as part of the McArthur investigation.

The alleged serial killer is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the disappearances of Navaratnam and seven other men, many of whom had ties to the city’s Gay Village. 

 I would have felt better knowing there was a unit just dedicated to looking for missing people.– Jean-Guy Cloutier, friend of Skanda Navaratnam

For the most part, Cloutier believes police did what they could to find Navaratnam — but he does hope the new unit can improve communications with people who report their friends missing going forward.

« They weren’t very open to give me information, » said Cloutier. « They’d just say it’s an active investigation, we’ll let you know if we find anything. »

« If it had existed back in 2010, I think I would have felt better knowing there was a unit just dedicated to looking for missing people. »  

Toronto police’s missing persons unit was launched quietly in July. It consists of two lead detectives, four detective constables as investigators, and one analyst.

New unit reviewing cases going back 28 years

The team has spent the last few months bringing together information on every missing persons cases the service has handled since 1990. Annually, Toronto police say they receive an average of 4,200 missing persons’ reports. This means the unit is likely examining more than 100,000 cases.

The plan is to review each one of them — both solved and unsolved — to make sure they were investigated to today’s standard.

Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant is the head of Toronto police’s new missing persons unit. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

So far, the unit has managed to resolve 300 of the thousands of cases they’re reviewing. The team will also keep a record of all new missing persons cases going forward — although it won’t automatically investigate them.

« We’re going to be an oversight unit to have a better view of what’s going on in the city with missing person cases, » Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant told CBC Toronto.

« If there are any patterns or any trends to missing persons, we can look at all those sort of things and provide investigative assistance to the actual divisions that are investigating the missing persons. »

The unit will also act as a contact point for outside agencies who might have, or need, information about someone missing from Toronto.

« Hopefully we’ll be able to better bridge the gap and say we’ve located the person or we know who that person is, with one phone call as opposed to 17 phone calls all across the city, » said Gallant.

Missing persons’ units common in other big Canadian cities

Toronto police are by no means pioneers when it comes to their missing persons unit.

Other police services in Ontario, like Ottawa and Hamilton, have had them for years. And across the country, other major cities have designated units as well, including Vancouver, Edmonton, and the oldest, Winnipeg, which started in 1974.

These units in western Canada currently all have a legislative leg up on investigators in Ontario.

Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. all have legislation in place that gives investigators the power to obtain production orders for a number of types of records, including cell phone and banking, for missing people.

Before the legislation passed police were only able to get those kinds of records if they had evidence of a crime or foul play.

That’s still the lay of the land in Ontario. In March, the province introduced the Missing Persons Act as part of the Safer Ontario Act, but it’s not in effect yet.

Gallant hopes that will change soon.

« It will be a valuable tool, » he told CBC Toronto. « It will be something that our unit will be managing, overseeing city-wide as well. »

In a statement, the province wouldn’t say when the legislation would come into effect, only that the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services has « instructed staff to begin working on the necessary regulations that are required to bring the Missing Persons Act to life. »

What took so long?

So why has it taken so long for Toronto police to establish a missing persons unit?

The way police investigate missing persons cases has been « an evolving discussion for many, many years, » according to Staff Supt. Myron Demkiw, who oversees the new unit and all detective operations.

Staff Supt. Myron Demkiw says Project Prism and Project Houston ‘lent some urgency to the discussion’ around how Toronto police deal with missing persons cases. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

But he did admit, « Project Prism and Houston investigations lent some urgency to the discussion, » along with the « public sentiment » around the two investigations.  

Haran Vijayanathan was one of the more outspoken voices amid that « public sentiment. » The executive director of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, was part of the push for an independent investigation of Toronto police’s handling of cases for missing persons.

The review won’t look at the investigation into McArthur, but it will examine how missing persons cases connected to the investigation were handled.

Haran Vijayanathan was part of the public push for an independent investigation of Toronto police’s handling of cases for missing persons. (CBC)

« I’m hoping for a comprehensive report of where things were done right, and where things were done wrong, and what are some of those gaps, » said Vijayanathan. « So when the gaps are identified then that would go to inform the missing persons unit. »

The final report isn’t expected until April 2020.

Brother missing for a decade

But for every missing persons case that comes under scrutiny, there are many others that remain unsolved, out of the spotlight and now in the hands of detectives like Mary Vruna.

« We have missing persons who are still missing without a trace, » she told CBC Toronto.

One such case is that of Russell Tucker.

Police are looking for the public’s assistance locating Russell Tucker, seen here in this photo from a wedding about 20 years ago.

A decade ago Tucker’s family lost all contact with him, something his brother says wasn’t unusual at first.

« He’s been a little bit of a loner over the years, » said Tucker’s brother, Randy. « He’s drifted away from the family and kept more to himself. »

After years of hoping Russell would call, Randy reported him missing in January 2017. Since then police haven’t found a trace of his younger brother, who should be celebrating his 54th birthday in December.

Russell Tucker, right, and his father, left, in a photo from a Christmas celebration in the years just before he lost contact with his family. (Randy Tucker)

« I hope that we find him, someone sees him and says: ‘Hey, I know that guy, » Randy told CBC Toronto.

« I mean the worst case could have happened. But really, we want to know that he’s okay. »



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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