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Police traced cellphone to locate activist Oluwatoyin Salau and volunteer Vicki Sims in Florida: What we know

Posted On Wednesday, 17 June 2020 00:14 Written by
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the community continues to mourn the deaths of two women, activists and celebrities took to social media to advocate for justice.

The bodies of Oluwatoyin "Toyin" Salau, 19, and Victoria "Vicki" Sims, 75, were found Saturday at the same location in Tallahassee after police used GPS to track Sims' cellphone. It is unclear whether or not the women knew each other before their deaths.

Aaron Glee Jr. was arrested Sunday in the Orlando, Florida, area, hours after the women's bodies were discovered inside and near his home, according to court records released Tuesday. He was charged with felony murder and kidnapping.

Two petitions have received nearly 400,000 signatures. One of them, created by Hana Bangura of New York, was aimed at the Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to further investigate Salau's death. It has gone viral as celebrities including Academy Award winner and former NFL wide receiver Matthew Cherry and rapper Yung Baby Tate have shared them on Twitter.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), actress Alyssa Milano, George Floyd family attorney Ben Crump and "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins also have expressed their support for justice in the disappearance and death of the activist.

Salau was reported missing June 6 and Sims was reported missing June 11. It's unknown exactly when they died.

Here's what we know about their deaths and the suspect:

Who is Oluwatoyin Salau?

Black Lives Matter demonstrator Oluwatoyin Salau, pictured during a protest at TPD, has been missing since June 6.

Salau was an activist who was found dead Saturday night.

She was affiliated with Movement 850, which describes itself as "student leaders and community residents working together to demand justice and policy change" for police reform in Tallahassee. She spoke at recent protests and spent her final days carrying signs that pleaded for justice in the wake of Black lives lost.

“Those lives may be lost, but we cannot be scared," Salau said last month, during a protest in front of the Tallahassee Police Department. "You are angry and it’s OK to be angry.”

In a series of tweets that were sent on the afternoon of June 6, Salau talked about a man who molested her earlier that day. She said the man offered her a ride back to a church where she had been staying.

On June 9, Tallahassee police posted on social media a missing persons flier for Salau, saying she was last seen June 6 in an area about a quarter mile from where she tweeted she was picked up for a ride and later sexually assaulted.

Meanwhile, the Kearney Center, a homeless shelter, reported that Salau sought help June 8 and was given phone numbers for people who could directly help her seek emergency shelter. They have no record of her trying to get in touch with those case managers.

Background: Florida protester Oluwatoyin Salau killed in Tallahassee

Vigil: Mourners remember Salau near site where activist's body was found

Who is Vicki Sims?

Victoria Sims, 75, a volunteer for AARP, was reported missing Saturday night. On Sunday, AARP officials confirmed she was dead, the victim of a homicide.

Police say Sims was last seen June 11. Police reported her missing June 13 after a neighbor went to check on Sims and found the front door to her apartment ajar. Her home is about a mile from the area Salau said she was sexually assaulted.

Officers found her home ransacked, burglarized and her car missing, police confirmed in an update Tuesday. Friends and family mentioned she occasionally gave rides to a man named Aaron, who lived on Monday Road.

Sims was a retired state worker, grandmother and volunteer who was well-known for her work in local Democratic politics.

In a statement released Sunday, Dave Bruns, spokesman for AARP, said, "Vicki worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others – as a dedicated advocate for older Americans; a committed volunteer for AARP, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Big Bend and other community causes; a devoted mother and grandmother; and a passionate, fully-engaged citizen, helping our nation to achieve its highest ideals."

Timeline: Toyin Salau, Vicki Sims' disappearance, death in Tallahassee

Suspect Aaron Glee Jr. arrested

Aaron Glee Jr.

Glee Jr., 49, was arrested early Sunday morning in Orlando on a warrant for murder,according to jail records.

The arrest came hours after police descended on his dilapidated home on Monday Road on Saturday night, when police found Salau and Sims' bodies on the property.

According to jail records, the original charge against Glee was kidnapping with intent to terrorize.

Glee was also arrested May 29, on separate aggravated battery charges after an officer spotted him kicking a woman in the stomach, according to police reports. After, the woman told police she had rejected a sexual advance from Glee, who had become angry. The victim in that case was neither Sims nor Salau.

Salau’s description of the alleged abuser that she posted to Twitter and provided to police before disappearing doesn’t match Glee Jr.

More on Glee's arrest: Suspect in killings of Victoria Sims and Oluwatoyin Salau arrested in Orlando area

Cellphone trace leads to bodies

Court documents released Tuesday say police ran a trace on Sims' cellphone. When they arrived at Glee Jr.'s house, they found Sims' white Toyota, stuck in mud.

"It appeared as though the driver was attempting to drive north of the stopping location, but was unsuccessful," court documents say. "There was a white sheet covering the rear of the vehicle, including the license plate. The license plate was bent upward, as though attempting to conceal the vehicle's identity."

Officers knocked on the door, but no one answered. Concerned Sims was inside and in danger, they broke in. They found Sims' body in a bedroom, covered with a white blanket that was soaked with blood. Her wrists and ankles were bound behind her back, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Officers and a police dog found Salau's body covered in leaves, about 200 feet northeast of the house.

Glee is being held in the Orange County Jail in Orlando. It's not clear when he will be transported to Tallahassee for his first court appearance.

Contributing: Nada Hassanein, Daniella Medina, Tallahassee Democrat

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Oluwatoyin Salau death: Aaron Glee Jr. arrested in Orlando; Vicki Sims

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