It had been a week since anyone had seen Oluwatoyin Salau, who also went by the name Toyin. The 19-year-old reportedly fled an abusive home and had been seeking shelter in a church while attending Black Lives Matter protests in Florida. On June 6, she met a man who told her he was a churchgoing, God-fearing person who would give her a ride after Toyin told him that she left a few of her belongings at a church where she was being housed. Later, on June 6, she sent off a series of tweets saying that as she was trying to sleep, a man molested her. She didn’t give a name, but Toyin’s friends became concerned with her safety after seeing her social media messages. Soon, contact with Oluwatoyin Salau became non-existent.
On Monday (June 15), the news no one wanted to hear arrived: Toyin was found dead. That wasn’t all; she was located alongside 75-year-old Victoria Sims. The Tallahassee Police Department issued a press statement where they said, “The deaths are being investigated as homicides and have been turned over to TPD’s Violent Crime Unit. The investigation is ongoing.” Some reports state that Toyin and Victoria’s remains were found on the property of a man named Aaron Glee, but it’s unclear if that has been confirmed. What is known is that Glee has been arrested and the two women’s deaths are being treated as homicides.
RIP to 19 year old activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau. 🙏🏾
— 247 Live Culture (@247LC) June 15, 2020
Oluwatoyin made a name for herself as she attended Black Lives Matter protests in Florida, and she’s remembered for her passionate, moving speeches she’d give at gatherings. “Right now, our lives matter, black lives matter,” Oluwatoyin Salau said in a video that has been widely circulated on social media. “We are doing this for our brothers and our sisters who got shot but we are doing this for every black person…I am profiled whether I like it or not.”
How Victoria Sims is tied into this story remains unknown as the investigation is ongoing and her family has refused to make a comment about her death. The cause of death for either of the victims is information that hasn’t been made public. Oluwaytoyin’s friends remember her as a loving, creative spirit who was destined for greatness. Now, they have promised to continue fighting the good fight on her behalf and in her memory.
Police have yet to share with the public whether or not Aaron Glee is the man who Toyin claims molested her or if he’s another person altogether. Hundreds of thousands of people have shared in their grief online for Oluwatoyin Salau. Black women have stood together in solidarity because she was one of us. And instead of being protected, she’s was abused and taken advantage of until her last breath.
Please share this story about Oluwatoyin Salau, not to sensationalize her demise, but to keep her memory alive. #SayHerName. Protect Black Women. She is our sister and her life mattered.
Rest In Peace, Oluwatoyin Salau.
I’m sorry that your life was so painful in your last days on earth.
You were trying to change America for Black lives. Thank you.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) June 15, 2020
rest in peace Oluwatoyin Salau
i wish you were fought for how you went out and fought for the world.
i am so sorry. my whole heart hurts wit this. wow.
say her name. 💔
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) June 15, 2020
I’m sorry I wasn’t as familiar with Oluwatoyin Salau as I’ve should have been. My heart hurts for her and those that loved her. She deserves justice. I just wish she had gotten what she needed most while she was still here — which was our protection https://t.co/Nu29GxmfUg
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 15, 2020
i really love these photos of her.
ill never forget this day, my children will know your story. pic.twitter.com/Y7QwxMocMV
— Ɛ⇂ (@eztofeid) June 15, 2020
— End carceral feminism 🏳️🌈 (@BlackSapphic) June 15, 2020
Mr. Aaron Glee Jr here killed two women, Oluwatoyin Salau and Victoria Sims, whose bodies were found together. He was just arrested a few weeks ago for assaulting a man and woman. No telling how many victims he has, because this behavior doesn't develop overnight. pic.twitter.com/t8JrkvtjPE
— Asombroso (@ElDiosDorado) June 15, 2020
A friend of mine who was friends with Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salua asked me to spread the message to not trust her family and not to donate to anything her family sets up. Toyin’s family were the first people who abused her and they were the reason she was homeless.#JusticeForToyin
— Theo✡︎🏳️🌈 (@jewish_activist) June 15, 2020
She left an abusive home & sought refuge in a church
The man arrested as a suspect in her murder disguised as "a man of God"
She relied on faith to keep her "safe"
The name Oluwatoyin is Yoruba for "God is worthy to be praised." She lived up to her name, but didn't get to live https://t.co/KdY81nesTn
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) June 15, 2020