“He was a good kid,” said Orlando Monteich, a friend of his family.
“He’d just bought a car, and (was) returning back to school to make something of himself,” Monteich said. Wynter was upgrading several high school courses with plans of getting into college.
Residents near Wynter’s neighbourhood began organizing search parties over the weekend. His younger sister, Shere, reached out to several local and national news outlets (including the Star) in the hopes that they’d cover his disappearance. Family friends used Facebook to spread the word.
Monteich was frustrated at the seemingly slow response time of police.
“It shouldn’t have waited until day five to . . . send a team out to dive. In other words, (the police) are telling us that it’s not a priority,” Monteich said. “If this was done a couple of days before, the family wouldn’t have been this distraught — not knowing what’s happened to Ackeel.”
He also blamed a lacklustre response from local and national media shortly after Wynter went missing.
Const. Rachel Gibbs said that the police don’t have a 24-hour rule before searching for a missing person.
“There’s no defined time like that,” Gibbs said. “Generally, if a person is reported missing, police will start investigating it right away.”
An official news release from Peel Regional Police with details of Wynter’s disappearance was first sent out Sunday.
Latoya Forsythe, his mother, made an emotional statement to reporters about an hour before Peel Regional Police confirmed that his body had been recovered.
“Come home, we’re looking for you,” said Forsythe at the time, surrounded by family members.
Monteich was told Tuesday by officers that they couldn’t disclose any information until an autopsy had been performed.
“We don’t know what caused it, what happened, because it’s not done yet. We’re still waiting,” he said.
Homicide detectives have not been called in to investigate Wynter’s death as of Tuesday afternoon. It’s still unclear as to whether foul play was involved, according to Gibbs.
“An investigation of this nature is suspicious until proven otherwise,” she said.