Son charged with second-degree murder in mother's death in Etobicoke park
Published Saturday, February 27, 2021 11:39AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 27, 2021 5:19PM EST
The son of a 69-year-old woman, who called for help before being found dead in a park in Etobicoke Friday morning, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death.
Officers were called to King's Mill Park around 10:45 a.m. after a woman called them for help because "she was in crisis."
Police located the woman with significant injuries and she was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Homicide detectives took over the investigation. On Saturday, police identified the woman as Kathleen Hatcher, of Toronto.
The cause of her death is unknown. A post mortem was scheduled Saturday.
When speaking to the media on Friday, Duty Insp. Andy Singh said he believes the incident occurred between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. when the woman was walking on one of the trails.
In a news release issued Saturday afternoon, police said Toronto resident Colin Hatcher was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Police confirmed that he is the victim's son.
"Our investigators believe that we have the person responsible, the single individual responsible for this homicide," Const. Alex Li said in an interview with CP24 Saturday evening.
Li said there's no public safety issue.
"We want to reassure the public that this was a very isolated incident," he said. "And we want to reassure them that we have deployed available resources in the area on that day, and it is still an ongoing investigation."
Police remained at the scene most of the day, canvassing for witnesses and surveillance videos.
"There is an outdoor element to this. People might be out for a walk; people might be out enjoying the fresh air. Those are the people that we want to speak to. What led up to the events? And those information, no matter how big how small, those are the people that our homicide investigators want to speak to," Li said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
Hatcher remembered by friends as happy, caring and an 'excellent quilter'
Those who knew Kathleen Hatcher said they are remembering her as talented quilter who will be missed.
“It’s just so horribly sad,” said Karen Cooper, president of the Etobicoke Quilters’ Guild, who first met Hatcher in 2005.
“Anytime somebody is killed in unfortunate circumstances, it’s terrible. But when you find out it’s someone who know, it’s really sad,” she said.
Cooper described the 69-year-old as a soft spoken, thoughtful and caring person.
She said Hatcher had been a quilting teacher, and a member of the group for decades and will be missed by its approximately 140 members.
“She was a really excellent quilter. Just an eye for colour,” said Cooper, adding that she took traditional patterns and then used colours in different ways that other people hadn’t thought of.
Maria is a painter and Hatcher’s neighbour. She talked with Hatcher about creative ideas and art over the last five years.
“It’s despicable. It’s horrible to realize that person is not there anymore,” Maria, who did not want to provide her last name, told CTV News Toronto.
Maria said that in addition to being a quilter, Hatcher was also a writer and a grandmother who was always excited to talk about her grandchild.
“She was very optimistic and very happy, like a superbly happy person. She used to share her travel stories with me, the highlights,” Maria said while wearing her favourite mask, one of two made by Hatcher and given to her as a gift.
Maria said Hatcher liked to go on walks. She now hopes whoever is responsible is caught, and that the area is safe for the community.
Hatcher retired last December, working most recently as an Assessor for the Essential Skills Upgrading Program at the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Adult Learning Centre.
In a statement issued to CP24 on Saturday, the TDSB said Hatcher was “an extraordinary person who was wonderful with learners and colleagues and will be dearly missed.”
“We extend our sincere condolences to Kathleen’s loved ones and former co-workers following her tragic passing,” a spokesperson for the TDSB said.
-With files from CP24’s Bryann Aguilar and CTV News Toronto's Beth Macdonell