Justice For Toyin: What We Know About Oluwatoyin Salau’s Alleged Assault & Death

Photo: © Hali Tauxe – USA TODAY NETWORK.
One week after being reported missing by loved ones, the body of 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau was discovered in Tallahassee, Florida along with the body of 75-year-old AARP volunteer Victoria Sims. According to the police report, which was released on Monday, both Salau and Sims' bodies were found on Saturday, June 13, on the 2100 block of Monday Road in connection with a missing persons investigation.
Salau, who was known for her support of the Black Lives Matter movement online and off, initially went missing on June 6, hours after tweeting about being sexually assaulted by a man at 5:30 a.m. that same day. Although Salau’s disappearance garnered massive online attention, her death was first confirmed publicly by her family to local outlets outlets and then by the Tallahassee Police Department in a press release late Monday morning.
The department also stated that one suspect, 49-year-old Aaron Glee Jr, was taken into custody. They also haven’t confirmed a relationship, if any, between Salau and Sims.
But in the days leading up to this discovery, advocates erupted in an effort to find Salau after she tweeted details of an alleged assault last week. Salau, an activist who had been a fixture in Black Lives Matter protests in Tallahassee since the death of George Floyd, detailed her experience being molested before she disappeared in a Twitter thread.
“I was molested in Tallahassee, Florida by a black man this morning at 5:30 on Richview and Park Ave,” Salau tweeted the morning of her disappearance. “The man offered to give me a ride to find someplace to sleep and recollect my belongings from a church I refuged to a couple days back to escape unjust living conditions.”
In her Twitter thread, the 19-year-old wrote that she went home with the man, who "came disguised as a man of God," before informing him that she was sexually assaulted by a 32-year-old in March. According to her depiction of events, she said that the man exposed himself to her after offering her a shower, and later started rubbing her back and body "before he climaxed."
"Once I saw he was asleep I escaped from the house and started walking from Richview Road to anywhere else," she wrote. "Literally wearing this man's clothes right now DNA all over me because I couldn't locate his house the moment I called the police because I couldn't see."
Salau’s family and friends have openly mourned the loss of their loved ones following the confirmation of her death. "I had a feeling that we were not going to find Toyin alive," Salau’s friend, Denise Hemphill, who last saw her one day before her disappearance, told the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday. “There is no justice that can be served that will replace my sister’s life,” her brother, Oluwaseyi Salau, said.
In response to her death, advocates mourned via Twitter and other social media channels, calling Salau a “Queen,” and using the #JusticeForToyin to spread information about what happened to her. Police have not confirmed whether the suspect is the same man who allegedly molested Salau, but activists say they will continue to demand justice for Salau, who is among so many Black women that continue to experience sexual violence in the U.S.
"Toyin was a strong minded, passionate soul who was brave enough to fight against racial injustice and then came out to speak about her abuser and has now been found dead," a petition in her name reads. "She reached out for help and she is one of the many black women that have been failed by the system."
The petition, which you can sign here, has garnered nearly 40,000 signatures as of 2 p.m. EST on Monday, and is a direct call to action from the Tallahassee Police Department, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Senator Janet Cruz.
Refinery29 reached out to the Tallahassee Police Department for comment. We will update this story as we know more.

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