Man arrested for murder after summertime death of Orillia woman
BARRIE -- A memorial of ribbons and flowers still covers the ground where police believe Tracy Reid was murdered in Orillia this summer.
Now, Robert Sampson, a 55-year-old man from Wasaga Beach who had been living with Ried at the time, has been charged with her murder.
After a five-month investigation, the Orillia detachment of the OPP arrested Sampson yesterday and charged him with first-degree murder.
The investigation began in the early morning hours of July 19th, 2019.
Emergency crews were called to a residence on Davey Drive in the Silver Swan Complex, for reports of an injured person. There they found Reid, who was then rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“She did not deserve to die like that,” said friend Dayna Young, who lived around the corner from Reid.
Young said Reid’s body was dumped, half-naked near the apartment she was staying in with Sampson.
“He deserves to die,” she added.
Witnesses at the time said they heard screaming in the middle of the night and told CTV News that Reid’s body had visible signs of blunt force trauma.
“I’m surprised it took this long to catch him. They arrested him twice before and let him go,” says Young.
After Reid's death, detectives canvassed the area for days, looking for witnesses and surveillance video. Still, residents also grew frustrated as police remained tight-lipped on the investigation, only calling Reid's death suspicious.
Reid’s former boyfriend, Al Kimmerley, says Reid lived with him and Sampson for nearly a year. Referring to Sampson, he said, “The man had a history of beating her, and she just kept going back. He can stay where he is for the rest of his life; that would be great with me.”
According to neighbours, Sampson recently moved out of the area, to live in Wasaga Beach with his father, but sporadically returned to the neighbourhood.
“My security video showed 1:30 in the morning, going up the driveway of the girl next door,” said neighbour Cathy Howell. “That was even more frightening.”
Sampson is being held in custody and appeared at court for a brief bail hearing today.
Meanwhile, friends are remembering Reid. They say she battled alcoholism, but that she was the first person to help others in need.
The 45-year-old mother leaves behind four sons and one daughter.
“Pretty special lady,” said Kimmerley. “Really really loved her kids.”
Cathy Howell adding, “Her family adored the ground she walked on, so that tells you a lot about her right there.”
-With Files from CTV's Mike Arsalides, Justin Rydell, Janelle Pearn and Beatrice Vaisman