Police continue search for Brampton kidnapping victim, suspect after getaway vehicle recovered
Published Sunday, March 28, 2021 6:22AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 28, 2021 5:33PM EDT
Peel police have located the vehicle involved in the alleged kidnapping of a woman in Brampton Sunday as the search continues for her and the suspect.
Officers were called to a residence on Adventura Road, near Mayfield and Mississauga roads, shortly before 3 a.m. for a reported disturbance.
“Reports were a male was screaming and banging on the door of a residence,” Const. Heather Cannon told reporters at the scene on Sunday morning.
“We attended (and) there was a female that was screaming, (police) heard screaming somewhere inside the residence.”
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which is now investigating an interaction between police and a suspect inside the home, said officers breached the door of the residence and followed the sound of screams to the garage.
In the garage, police found a male suspect in the driver's seat of a vehicle and a female in the back seat, the SIU said in a news release issued Sunday.
"There was an interaction, and two officers discharged their firearms in the direction of the vehicle," the statement read.
According to police, the man then fled the area with the female victim, who did not go willingly. They were last seen travelling in a black Honda Civic with the licence plate number BZHE247.
After receiving tips from the public, the getaway vehicle was discovered Sunday afternoon in the area of Whitepoppy Drive and McLaughlin Road in Brampton, about eight kilometres from the home where the kidnapping occurred, police say.
"That vehicle has currently been seized and is being processed for evidentiary purposes," Supt. Sean Gormley said. "The vehicle, however, was unoccupied, and the female party and male party are still outstanding at this time."
When asked if they have found anything on the vehicle that could help in the investigation, Gormley said he could not comment as it is part of the SIU's probe.
It is not known if anyone was injured by the bullets fired by the officers this morning.
"At this time, it is not known whether the man was struck by gunfire. However, the SIU’s mandate was invoked as per the Special Investigations Unit Act because a police officer discharged a firearm at a person," the SIU's statement continued.
The SIU is called to investigate any interaction between an Ontario police officer and a member of the public that results in death, serious injury or an allegation of sexual assault.
Two investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case, the SIU said.
The incident, police said, is being investigated as a kidnapping, and the suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Kwami Garwood, who is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Gormley said Garwood is wanted on several outstanding warrants in the GTA, including a first-degree murder warrant in connection with the shooting death of 43-year-old Andre Charles in Toronto last year.
"We're using our policing partners with the Ontario Provincial Police. We're using the Toronto Police Service, other neighbouring police services," he said.
"Given the nature of the warrants that are currently outstanding for Mr. Garwood, he does have a foothold throughout the entire Greater Toronto Area. And so, we are using all resources possible to us to try and locate him."
Police have also released the name of the victim, identified as 23-year-old Salina Ouk. Gormley said they have made contact with the victim's family, who are very concerned.
He noted that the victim and the suspect are involved in a relationship.
"We're still trying to determine the length of that relationship - how long they've been together. But she is not a stranger to him," Gormley said." We do believe that they are involved in an actual relationship -- boyfriend, girlfriend."
Gormley said they don't know whether the two individuals left on foot or fled in another vehicle.
"Investigators are currently on the scene canvassing the area looking for any potential leads as to the whereabouts of these parties to see where they went," he said.
"We'll be canvassing for video, speaking to residents in that area to see if they saw anything that might assist us in locating the male and female party."
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the suspect and the victim is being asked to call 911, investigators at 22 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 905-453-2121, ext. 2233, or Crime Stoppers anonymously.