Cold Case: Lin Tao

By Sara Faruqi, Toronto Police Service Published: 9:01 a.m. March 14, 2016
Updated: 9:34 a.m. March 14, 2016

Days away from her 20th birthday, Lin Tao was attacked and killed near her home on February 10, 2002. Her murder has never been solved, but her killer left behind a crucial piece of evidence: DNA.

A woman holding up her hand
Lin Tao, 19, was stabbed to death near her home at Keele St. and Finch Ave. W. on February 10, 2002

After a struggle in which she tried to fend off the 8 p.m. attack, her killer left behind a trail of blood in front of  1 Four Winds Drive, in the area of Keele Street and Finch Ave. W.

Fourteen years later, Toronto Police believe someone knows who the suspect is, and it is time they come forward with a name to match the DNA.

Detective Sergeant Stacy Gallant believes the killer knew the York University student.

“They likely had some sort of relationship that caused a major discord between them. Friends may not have known the extent of the relationship at the time but, with many years gone by, someone will come forward,” says Gallant.

Detective Sergeant Stacy Gallant appeals for information to help solve the 2002 murder of Lin Tao, 19

Other than a trail of blood, the suspect also left behind a toque with three Pokémon figures on it. He is described as having a pale complexion, possibly of Asian descent, about 130 pounds and around 5’6” or 5’7”. 

People who may have known the suspect at the time would have remembered him having an unexplained injury, after February 10, 2002, which may have left a scar likely on his arm or hand, explains Gallant. 

Gallant believes that, as time has gone by, people who know the suspect and Tao, are likely older and more mature now. 

“Lin Tao was 19 at the time she was murdered. Anybody who was associated with her was around the same age, including the offender, so I think, as 14 years have gone by, people have matured, and may have families of their own and realize what it is to have a son or daughter and hopefully that will be enough to prompt somebody to give us this information and help this family,” says Gallant. “Too much time has passed and this person has gotten away with it for so long. We have DNA. It is just a matter of someone providing a name… There is no doubt that someone close to the offender knows he did it,” says Gallant 

All police need is a name to match the DNA, bring peace for Tao’s family, justice for Lin and finally hold accountable the man who killed her. 

“Your duty is to bring his name to our attention so he can be held accountable,” says Gallant.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Homicide at 416-808-7400, or at

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 416−222−TIPS (8477); or via the internet at; or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637); or download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Read about more Unsolved Cold Cases

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