Toronto police appeal for more information in murder of homeless man who was attacked while he slept

Toronto police are shown at the scene of a homicide in the area of Highway 27 and West Humber Trail on Sept. 7.

Police are making a renewed appeal for information in the stabbing death of a homeless man who investigators believe was attacked while he slept underneath an overpass on the West Humber Trail in September.

The body of 39-year-old Rampreet Singh, who also went by Peter, was discovered by a jogger in the early hours of Sept. 7.

Since then police have conducted multiple foot patrols of the surrounding area in search of clues and have also used drones to conduct an aerial search while enlisting the the help of the marine unit to examine the nearby Humber River.

Police also say that investigators have looked at “every single video” in an area that expands several kilometres in each direction in an attempt to identify any “small piece” of information that could be liked to the homicide but have come up empty so far.

“Based on the investigation both forensically and from our scene examination here Mr. Singh was likely fast asleep in blankets and a sleeping bag and the person or persons that did this to him, it was an unprovoked attack,” Detective Sergeant Joel Kulmatycki told reporters on Friday, as he gave them a tour of the murder scene. “He was severely, severely injured causing his death. The stabbing was extreme to the point where it was overkill in my view.”

Kulmatycki said that there were a number of paths from the overpass that the suspect or suspects could have taken following the murder, including one that went up towards Highway 27 and another that goes to the southeast and eventually connects with a residential neighbourhood.

He said that by doing their best to keep Singh’s death in the headlines, police hope that someone will remember seeing something out of the ordinary and come forward.

“I would ask that anybody with the smallest thing that they might have seen, whether it is a car fleeing or people on foot or a person walking away, to please contact us,” he said.

Singh described as ‘a staple in the area’

Kulmatycki said that a number of people have come forward to describe Singh as a “kind of staple in the area” who “didn’t bother people” and was often assisted by people who would bring him sandwiches and other food items.

He said that police were, at one point, looking at similarities between his murder and the fatal stabbing of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis outside a Rexdale mosque on Sept. 12 but have not been able to formally connect the two incidents so far.

Guilherme “William” Von Neutegem, 34, is facing a first-degree murder charge in Zafis’ death.

“We were looking at similarities because they were both knife attacks but at this point we can’t establish it was the same offender,” he said. “That is why we are here today because certainly we don’t want to be working with blinders on. I am not ruling it out entirely yet but of course I do not want to have the blinders on.”