More than three months after a man was struck by a car and left dying in a Cabbagetown alley, the Toronto Police Service has charged a woman with causing his death and fleeing the scene.
The force’s traffic services had identified a vehicle of interest five days after the death of the pedestrian, a 57-year-old man police did not identify. However, it took longer for investigators to determine who was at the wheel at the time of the incident, spokesman Sergeant Brett Moore said on Friday in an interview.
Michelle Shemilt, 35, of Toronto, was arrested on Thursday. She faces two criminal charges: failing to stop at scene of accident that involved death, and causing death by criminal negligence.
She is to appear at College Park Courts on Feb. 14.
“I have nothing to say, thank you,” Ms. Shemilt said when contacted on the phone by The Globe and Mail.
Shortly after the call, she shut down her Facebook and Twitter accounts. She did not reply to an e-mail query.
The founder of NUMI, a brand of women’s undershirts, Ms. Shemilt garnered some media attention after she quit her job as a bank equity trader seven years ago and crowdfunded $47,000 online to launch her fashion business.
The fatal accident took place on a rainy Friday afternoon, Sept. 21.
Sgt. Moore said an ambulance was called around 4 p.m. after a man was found with severe trauma near the intersection of Nuthatch Lane and Doctor O Lane.
“It looked like the person had been assaulted, and it wasn’t until the autopsy that we realized that the person had been struck by a vehicle,” Sgt. Moore said.
By Sunday, Sept. 23, police were making a public appeal for witnesses or people who might have video images related to the collision. Three days later, investigators seized a vehicle to conduct forensic tests. However, it took another month before investigators had enough evidence to establish who was the driver, Sgt. Moore said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms. Shemilt worked at RBC Capital Markets from 2007 to 2011.
In an e-mail that she shared five years ago with the blog Babes on Bay Street, she said she had lost her enthusiasm for banking and returned to modeling at the age of 28, then “listened to my instincts” and started her own online fashion business, initially named Nudy Patooty.