Oluwatoyin Salau: Black Lives Matter Protester Found Dead in Homicide

Oluwatoyin Salau

Twitter/Missing poster/GoFundMe Oluwatoyin Salau.

Oluwatoyin Salau was a Black Lives Matter protester who vanished in Tallahassee, Florida. For days, there was a police and community effort underway to find her after she disappeared hours after leaving a series of disturbing tweets. Salau was found dead in an double homicide Saturday night, June 15, along with another woman, the Tallahassee Police Department said Monday in a press release.

According to Tallahassee Police, Salau was found dead in the 2100 block of Monday Road along with 75-year-old Victoria Sims. Vicki Sims was an AARP volunteer who had also been reported missing. A suspect, 49-year-old Aaron Glee Jr., has been taken into custody, police said in the press release. Authorities have not released any other information about the double homicide investigation. “The 19-year-old (Salau) and 75-year-old (Sims) met after recent protests over justice for black lives,” Tallahassee.com reported. Sims was active in Democratic politics.

“Toyin was very passionate,” her friend Danaya Hemphill said, according to CBS News. “She was very vocal she was very loving, very spiritual, very caring. Toyin she was like a light in a dark room. That was Toyin.”

The suspect has two recent battery cases involving other victims. You can learn more about his background here.

TwitterVictoria Sims

“Silence is the best weapon for some but not for me I will not be silenced,” Salau wrote recently on her Twitter page, which she filled with comments about race and social justice. Salau’s disappearance sparked a great deal of emotion on social media, where many question why the media haven’t covered her case more widely, and some criticized police for, in their view, not doing more considering the number of details Salau herself posted on Twitter about what she said was a sexual assault right before she vanished.

Salau, who was a speaker at Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd, disappeared on June 6.

On June 14, a woman who goes by Ashley on Twitter and who indicated she was helping Salau’s mother, wrote, “I’m sorry to inform everyone about this but Toyin is no longer with us.” On June 11, the same woman wrote on Twitter, “She’s been missing since last Friday since she left me and my friends. Last time she was last sighted was at the BL Perry Library on Saturday then after that we haven’t seen her. If you know any info please contact me because I’m helping her mom. She’s somewhere on the south side.” Heavy has also reached out to Ashley for more information.

Another woman claimed on a True Crime Group, “The family messaged in the group chat thanking everyone for their help and letting everyone know that she was no longer with us, and asking for people to give them time and not mention it on social media. Some friends who weren’t part of the search group started posting about it…there are no firm answers.”

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Orange County, Florida, jail records show Glee is being held on a warrant out of Leon County charging him with felony murder and kidnapping. He is from West Palm Beach, according to the jail records. He was arrested by the Orlando Police Department on June 14.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Tallahassee Police Classified Salau as a Missing Person

Before her body was found, Tallahassee Police classified Salau as a “missing adult,” giving her name as Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau.

A missing person’s poster released by police stated she was 19 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

“The Tallahassee Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking information on the location of Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau,” the post says. “Salau was last seen on June 6, 2020, in the area of Orange Avenue and Wahnish Way in Tallahassee. She may be in the area of Jakes and Patterson Street. There is no known clothing description for Salau at this time.”

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People with information are asked to call the Consolidated Dispatch Agency at 850-606-5800.

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Vicki Sims had last been seen on June 11. She volunteered with the Tallahassee AARP chapter, the organization said in a press release.

The Tallahassee AARP said about Sims, “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.”

2. Salau Wrote a Series of Disturbing Tweets the Afternoon She Went Missing

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On June 6, 2020, on her Twitter page, just hours before she disappeared, Salau wrote a series of disturbing tweets. “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,” she wrote.

She continued:

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. When we arrived at his house he offered me a shower and I thanked him and shower and he gave me a change of clothes. He exposed himself to me by peeing with the bathroom open obviously knowing I was out of it. I told him about a sexual assault situation that happened…

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Salau described an alleged sexual assault by another man who she said, back in March, “tried to force me to give him oral sex and then continued to harrass (sic) me thru text and knocking at my door for days.” She wrote that she is 19 and that man was 32.

She continued:

Going back to the situation that happened to me this morning, I did not fall 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 ptsd. He started touching me 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. All of my belongings my phone my clothes shoes are all assumably at the church where I’ve been trying to track since I sought spiritual guidance/ refuge. I will not be silent. 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.

She added: “Mid 40’s lives in a gray painted duplex apartment style house drives a white clean Silverado Chevrolet truck.”

3. Salau Wrote About Race, Police & Other Issues in Society on Social Media

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Salau filled her Twitter page with comments about race, police and other issues affecting society. “What do white people b tryna escape,” read one recent post. According to Tallahassee.com, Salau was affiliated with Movement 850, which describes itself as “student leaders and community residents working together to demand justice and policy change” relating to Tallahassee police.

“The media loves to censor black pain for a groundbreaking story there is no middle ground… keep reporting and fact checking stay on y’all toes,” read another. Other posts:

“Abeg stop using Black as an umbrella term African Americans are being targeted you people want to say Black but when its any other ethnicity you’ll list the whole al pha bet.”

“White suprecrazy.”

“In this dim ass social age Black could mean anything your fav white celebs get called black and for marrying African Americans will you shut up your mouth.”

“it’s so funny how white ppl use reverse psychology for every conflict and it’s not even that effective.”

4. Citizens Were Out Searching for Salau, Who Was a Speaker at Black Lives Matter Protests

TCAC — Tallahassee Community Action Committee — organized search parties for Salau. “We’re still at Bethel AME Church (On Orange Ave. and Wahnish Way) forming search teams, it’s not too late to join us!” the organization wrote with one post on its Facebook page.

Jesula Jeannot, a 21-year-old protest organizer who knew Salau through protests, told the Tallahassee Democrat, “I’m shaking.”

The newspaper reported that Salau “spoke at recent protests and carried signs pleading for justice in the wake of black lives lost.”

5. A Relief Fund Was Established for Salau, but the GoFundMe Has Been Suspended Amid Questions About Its Legitimacy

A “relief fund” on GoFundMe for Salau has raised more than $10,000. The fund was created by someone claiming to be a family friend, but the fund stopped taking donations on Monday.

“Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau is an activist in the Tallahassee community who was reported as a Missing Persons by family after disappearing on June 6th, 2020,” the page reads. It continues:

Toyin was last seen in the southside of Tallahassee near the intersection of Orange Ave. and Wahnish Way. Toyin’s current condition is unknown, and she may be at risk – this fund exists as an outlet to pool together financial assistance for her when she is found or when contact is established. The funds gathered will be allocated directly to Toyin to be used at her discretion for resources she may need to feel safe, secure, and supported when she is found, and to assist financially in her healing process. Please support Tallahassee organizers, and the friends and family of Toyin in the effort to provide mutual aid to an integral member of our community.

The page continued, “For the sake of transparency, we want to let you all know that Trish Brown, the main organizer of this campaign, is a family friend of Toyin’s and was in communication with Toyin before she went missing. Trish will be the main facilitator in transferring funds directly to Toyin once contact with her is established. We are also in contact with a group of Toyin’s close friends who are also helping to raise money.”

But some of Salau’s friends have called the GoFundMe into question and are asking that donations not be made to it. The fund was no longer accepting donations as of the morning of June 15, but it was not immediately clear what would happen to the money already donated.

One friend wrote on Twitter, “DO NOT DONATE TO THIS GO FUND ME!! Trish is a liar & most definitely is not a friend of the family. TOYIN DID NOT TRUST HER AT ALL. TOYIN WAS LAST WITH MY FRIENDS & I. She left while we protesting.”

The friend added, “Trish say there & made a big deal about Toyin phone being missing & whole time it was in the back of her red truck! She lied & said she’s been in contact with Toyin up until she went missing but HOW when Toyin didn’t have her phone?”

Another friend tweeted, “Her mom nor her family members can be trusted! I’ve known Toyin since she was 14 years old and her mom allowed her to be beat on by her family members! Nobody wanted to help her, only to hurt her! Her dad abused her as well!” Her friends say that her parents kicked her out in the middle of a pandemic, which led to her being homeless.

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