© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Mystery trails death of 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin Salau who went missing in the US after post on sexual assault
THE Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) in the United States (US) on Sunday shared that it had found the lifeless body of 19-year-old Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist, Oluwatoyin Salau, nine days after she was declared missing.
In a statement shared on its Facebook page, the TPD disclosed that the deceased was found during the late hours of June 13, alongside another dead body, stating that both deaths would be investigated as homicides.
It further disclosed that preliminary investigations had revealed a suspect, who has since been apprehended. The identity of the suspect is yet to be released by the police.
Controversy had trailed the disappearance of Salau who went missing on June 6, in Tallahassee, Florida, US, after she shared a series of tweets in which she disclosed that she was sexually assaulted by a yet-to-be known man.
In her Twitter post, Salau, shared details of the assault, describing her abuser as a mid-40s black man who had posed as a good samaritan wanting to help with her homeless situation.
“Anyways I was molested in Tallahassee, Florida by a black man this morning at 5:30 on Richview and Park Ave. 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.
“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street. I entered his truck only because I carry anything to defend myself not even a phone (which is currently at the church) and I have poor vision. I trusted the holy spirit to keep me safe,” Salau’s post read.
Describing the alleged sexual assault incident, Salau said the man used her body for his pleasure while she laid faced down on his couch, only finding a way to escape after he fell asleep.
“He then asked me if I wanted a massage at this moment his roommate who was in the house was asleep. I was laying on my stomach trying to calm myself down from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. He started touching my back and rubbing my body, using my body until he climaxed and then went to sleep.
“Before I realized what happened to me I looked over and his clothes were completely off. Once I saw he was asleep I escaped from the house and started walking from Richview Road to anywhere else,” Salau’s final tweet before her disappearance read.
Salau reported the case to the police shortly before she went missing.
Several days passed before her lifeless body was found on the road.
The police said: “At approximately 9:15 pm Saturday night, June 13th, TPD investigators arrived in 2100 block of Monday Road in the course of a follow-up investigation in a missing person case. During the course of the investigation, two deceased people were located in the area.”
One of the bodies was identified as Salau.
The death of the BLM activist has sparked several reactions on social media, with many calling for justice and answers over what happened to the girl who fought against racism.
Having joined protests driving the message about the importance of black people’s lives in America, Salau’s last days were lived fighting perceived oppression and racial injustice.
According to a friend of the deceased, identified as Ashley on Twitter, a protest demanding justice for Toyin and celebrating her strength as an activist is to be held on Friday.
“There is going to be a major protest Friday in honor of Toyin’s memory and strength. Also Friday weeks ago was her first time protesting. The details are coming out soon,” Ashley tweeted.
In the interim, a petition has been set up on behalf of Salau to gain the attention of the Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis and TPD to investigate what friends and supporters of the deceased described a crime.