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Unique circumstances lead OPP to reveal name of 'homicide/suicide' victim

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It’s been three months since 38-year-old Tanya Wiebe was found dead inside a home on Roberts Line in Central Elgin.

Elgin County OPP are now confirming she was the victim in what they are calling a "homicide/suicide."

Wiebe, along with 34-year-old homeowner Kyle Savage, were found dead, suffering from gunshot wounds inside a residence on Roberts Line on the morning of Jan. 31, 2024.

In a release, Elgin County OPP said, “The investigation revealed that the female's death was the result of a homicide.”

Although not the first time the term "homicide/suicide" has been used by OPP, it is unique.

Speaking to CTV News London, OPP Const. Brett Phair said there have been other instances, some dating back to February of 2018, where the verbiage "homicide/suicide" has been used, often times under "unique circumstances."

Phair said it took OPP three months to ensure the evidence that was gathered and reviewed was accurate before releasing the update. He added that the Criminal Investigations Branch wanted to ensure the accuracy of information and the detail that "the female's death was the result of a homicide" was added to the release.

It's something Linda Davidson has been pushing for London Police Service (LPS) to do in the murder-suicide death of her daughter Tiffany Gates.

Tiffany Gates of London, Ont. is seen in this undated image. (Source: Facebook)

“It’s not going to change anything, but for me it, means a lot. And for other victims…why did they leave it open like that, why should I be questioned that perhaps she killed him?” questioned Davidson.

Gates’ body was found inside of a sixth floor apartment unit in the 500-block of Proudfoot Lane in London, Ont. on Sept. 7, 2023.

The body of her boyfriend Christopher Charlton was also recovered inside the apartment.

In a release that concluded Tiffany Gates’ death investigation, there was no mention of victims and no details in relation to the investigation.

LPS cited "restrictions" and "privacy legislation" as reasons for not providing the additional information.

As it stands, if a person who commits a crime is deceased and London police do not lay any charges, their name will never be released.

Davidson insists this is a jurisdictional policing decision and has spent the last eight months fighting to have the details in her daughter’s death released publicly.

She said she spoke on the phone with London Police Chief Thai Truong Wednesday night and was told he would be looking into this matter.

“Who are you protecting? He is dead…it’s bad enough that he doesn’t get a day in court, but he got away with murder,” said Davidson.

Local women’s advocates have long called for police to release details, including names of those involved in femicide.

Executive Director of the London Abused Women’s Centre Jennifer Dunn said it’s really important to acknowledge what has happened. Not just for the families involved, but for the community as well.

“It’s such a shame for some of this information to be left open ended, and for the families to be left to explain what has happened to them or their daughter,” she said.

In a statement to CTV News London, London police explained that the decisions based on the Tiffany Gates investigation were made based on legislation, “The legislation falls under both the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the now new updated Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA) and is as follows:

  • The Police are required to operate with the legal confines of privacy legislation.
  • The Police are governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the Community Safety and Police Act (CSPA)
  • MFIPPA presumes the disclosure of personal information to be an invasion of personal privacy if it was compiled and is identifiable as part of a law enforcement investigation. Disclosure of such information is not permitted, except to the extent that disclosure is necessary to prosecute a violation or to continue the investigation, and/or is otherwise permitted at law.
  • MFIPPA permits an institution to disclose personal information to the public or persons affected in specified circumstances – none of which are applicable to the current circumstances.
  • S.80(1) of the CSPA empowers the Chief or delegate to disclose personal information so long as it is disclosed for one of the identified purposes under s.80 (2), and is in accordance with O. Reg. 265/98
  • Permission to publicly disclose information under O.Reg 265/98 is tied, in most instances, to a charge or conviction.

The London Police Service is unable to provide any additional information with respect to the manner of death or involved parties’ names due to restrictions provided within the privacy legislation. Such restrictions remain in death."

  

  

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