A 14-year-old boy was found murdered in Mississauga, Ontario Friday. Riley Driver-Martin’s body was discovered in a residential neighborhood in the city bordering Toronto.
Police were hunting his brother, Mark Mahabir, also 20 and also being charged with murder.
Saturday night at around 9 p.m., police reported that Mark Mahabir turned himself in.
The Toronto Star reported the murder is another in a “record-breaking year of homicides” in the Greater Toronto Area and victim under the age of 16. The murder of Martin makes a total of 25 homicides in the area in 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Driver-Martin, a Local Secondary School Student, Left His Home Thursday Night. His Body Was Found Friday Morning
The body of the 14-year-old was discovered at around 8 a.m. Friday by a passerby, police said, in a laneway sandwiched between a park, residential neighborhood, and a private French school on Meadow Park near Truscott Drive and Southdown Road. The Driver family is reported to live on Truscott Drive. Police were outside the residence Friday and again Saturday, it was reported.
Driver-Martin was a student at nearby Clarkson Secondary School. His uncle told local media Driver-Martin championed kids that were bullied.
He “was the kind of kid who protected everybody. He hated bullies. He would stand up to them and would stand up for smaller kids who were being pushed around.” And it was one of those kids that found his body, Donny Sexton told the Toronto Sun.
“All of his friends are devastated,” Sexton was quoted as saying. “We all are.”
Students reported knowing him in statements made to local media and on social media.
Police said the murder was an isolated incident,” but have not yet provided a motive.
Police told the Toronto Star that it was deemed a homicide based on “evidence of trauma to the victim’s body.” Police declined to comment further on whether there were weapons involved. Police did say they believe the boy “…left his nearby home, late evening on Thursday,” but it was not known if he was alone.
Police said his body was there overnight. He was not reported missing, police told local media. Sexton told The Sun his nephew was “upset about something and left the house …(to) get some space.”
A vigil for the boy is planned for Monday.
2. Driver-Martin’s Grandmother Sarah Lynn Martin Took to Facebook to Share Her Anquish & Anger
“My grandson was murdered today. Please pray for us,” wrote Sarah Lynn Martin, a stunning and devastating two short sentences. A religious woman, she wrote: “My beautiful grandson grandma loves you. You are home with the Lord now rest in God’s loving grace and mercy.”
She also said she felt her grandson had come to her the night of his murder.
“I believe my grandson came to me Thursday night. I believe he’s in a better place. I pray he’s resting in the arms of the Lord to ever be protected. My baby grandma love you always and will see you when my time comes to come home to the Lord.”
But even as she was sharing her thoughts about her grandson’s eternal peace, she was angered when she saw the Mahabir attorney on TV.
“This is the asshole lawyer that is defending the killer of my grandson. Shame on you Midanik.”
3. Friends, Students & Residents Took to Social Media to Share Remembrances, Condolences & Also to Question ‘What’s Happening?’
The call came in at 7:58 a.m. A passer-by discovered the boy’s body on the street. By Friday afternoon, it was reported, police, crime scene and forensic investigators, and firefighters had converged on the residential neighborhood with a tarp blocking the view of Martin’s body.
Residents told local media the incident was “traumatizing.” On Twitter and other social platforms, students and residents posted condolences. And fears.
“My heart goes out to the family of Riley Martin. It is scary when it happens on your street. They will find out who did this to you and I look forward to helping get justice for Riley.”
“What is happening to our youth of to day and so close to xmass .his family and friends will be very saddened.and miss a very young man teen.”
“I know the kids name his name was Riley I used to go to school with him. I know this is him because my friends father was contacted by the victims parents and then told me about it.”
4. The Family is Too Stunned, Devastated to Speak Publicly. A GoFundMe Has Been Set up to Help
In a story in the Toronto Sun, Driver-Martin’s uncle said the boy’s family is “lost.”
“They are beside themselves,” Donny Sexton told the paper adding the Driver family is unable to come forward publicly; they’re “not ready yet. They can’t even look at a picture of Riley without breaking down. He was everything to them and to all of us.”
A GoFundMe was created to assist the family with the costs associated with Driver-Martin’s funeral.
“Gone is always too soon! Losing a son a brother a cousin a grandson a nephew, great-grandson is more devastating than anything You can imagine. Riley James was a leader that loved with all his heart. All of his family and countless friends will miss him with all our hearts. In no way were we prepared for this tragedy your love and support is appreciated.”
5. Clarkson Secondary School Sent a Letter Home to Parents Offering Solace & Support
“I’m writing to inform you about an incident that took place in our school community,” wrote school principal Mary Zammit. “Our thoughts are with the family and those impacted at this difficult time. We will continue to provide updates on our school website if we receive any additional information. As always, please call the school to speak with an administrator, if you have questions or concerns.”
Zammit told parents that Martin’s death could affect students and offered counseling and tips on how best to support kids.
“Be aware of signs that your teen may need additional support to deal with this loss.”