‘Beloved’ Toronto school teacher identified as York Region's latest murder victim

A Grade 7 and 8 teacher at a Toronto school has been identified as the victim in a homicide in Vaughan.

Police were called to a home on Isa Court, near Highway 27 and Langstaff Road, shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday for reports of unknown trouble.

Once on scene officers found a woman with injuries. The woman, later identified as 64-year-old Estella Wheeler, was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a letter sent home to parents and guardians on Wednesday, the Toronto District School Board shared news of the “sudden death” of the “beloved” Grade 7/8 teacher at Toronto’s Africentric Alternative School.

Principal Hugh Reynolds wrote that Wheeler was a “well-known, dedicated team member,” someone who “cared for her all her students.” 

“During her time at our school, she developed strong relationships with students and staff, and will be remembered as an incredibly kind and giving person who was friends with everyone,” he said. 

Supports are being made available for staff and students, especially those in Wheeler’s class, Reynolds said in the note. Social workers were also at the school today and “support will be available as long there is a need,” he said. 

Woman found dead

On Wednesday afternoon, York Regional Police (YRP) announced that 68-year-old Trevor Wheeler, also of Vaughan, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Wheeler’s death. 

Police told CTV News Toronto that the couple lived together in the semi-detached dwelling. Neighbours said that they were married.

Those who lived nearby also said that Wheeler was a mother and described her a friendly, kind and beautiful woman who liked to sing while hanging laundry in the backyard. 

Const. Lisa Moskaluk said that police are not providing any information as to how Wheeler died until an autopsy is completed in the coming days. She would also not say who placed the initial 911 call. 

“We woke up and there were sirens all over the place,” one neighbour told CP24.
 “We just heard from the bedroom everything – ambulance, fire trucks, police everywhere.”

York Regional Police are asking anyone with further information about this homicide, including any witnesses who have yet to come forward, to contact them or Crime Stoppers anonymously. 

With files from CP24’s Courtney Heels and Joshua Freeman, and CTV News Toronto’s Beth Macdonell.

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