Sister of Richmond homicide victim asks for help from public

The sister of a homicide victim in Richmond made an emotional appeal Wednesday for information about her brother’s death.

Tina Visentin went in front of the cameras to talk about the loss of 37-year-old Michael Thompson, who was found inside a vacant home on Odlin Road, near Garden City Road, shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2018.

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A friend of Thompson found him dead, with police later identifying his injuries as consistent with homicide.

Holding back tears, Visentin, Thompson’s only sister, said her brother didn’t have enemies and his death made no sense.

“Mike was well-liked and well-known and he wasn’t the type to harm or hurt another person,” Visentin said, adding that he liked to go fishing.

“I want people to know my brother was not always having (a) hard time, (…) but unfortunately the opiate world got hold of him and took him down a different path.”

Sgt. Frank Jang, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), said Thompson had previous police interactions with property- and theft-related offences.

According to IHIT, Thompson was last seen at the McDonald’s restaurant attached to Wal-Mart at 9251 Alderbridge Way around 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2018.

He was wearing a black baseball cap, a grey hoodie underneath a black jacket, blue jeans and blue and red Nike runners. He apparently left the McDonald’s on a blue and black mountain bike, towing a bike trailer.

Jang said investigators know individuals who have “full knowledge” of what happened to Thompson that evening.

“We need them to provide us a statement of what they know so that we can advance Michael’s investigation,” he said.

“We recognize that some witnesses may be worried for their own safety and we want to reassure them that IHIT will address their concerns and treat them with the utmost respect.”

Visentin believes some of Thompson’s friends have not told the whole story to IHIT.

“I know you might be scared, but I ask you, please do the right thing, this was an innocent life taken for no reason,” she said, adding that her family wants justice and closure.

Anyone with information is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or call Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous

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