By John Burman -- The Hamilton Spectator. September 4, 2002.

Kimlyn Judy Tolgyes was a relay runner and track star back in Bennetto elementary school.

As a carefree child, Kimlyn could run the 800 metres in Hamilton middle school track and field in 3:06.5.

But friends she ran with as a child say the attractive 19-year-old could never outpace her desperate need for crack cocaine or the dark dangers of the life she lived on Hamilton's streets to finance her habit.

Tolgyes' naked and battered body was found by a city worker in Kerncliff Park, a rustic north Burlington spot and local "lover's lane" off Kerns Road last Thursday afternoon.

Her murder shocked members of Hamilton's street community who new Tolgyes.

Halton police said yesterday she was identified by fingerprints and a photograph provided by Hamilton police.

Next of kin, including her father in Trinidad, were notified.

Police said Tolgyes, Halton's third homicide this year, was struck on the head with a heavy, blunt object before she died. They have yet to determine where she was slain or how her body got to a Burlington park.

Sergeant Val Hay, Halton police media relations officer, said Tolgyes was last seen in Burlington and Hamilton either Aug. 23 or 24.

She said the young woman's lifestyle and company she kept will determine the course of the investigation.

"It's not spelled out, but it is understood she did not hang out with the best sort of people and that is where the investigation is going," said Hay.

Hay said Tolgyes' slaying, "due to where she was from and where she hung out" could become a Hamilton case.

Until the scene of the crime is known, the murder remains a Halton police case. 

But Hamilton police have assigned a detective to work with Halton investigators because, as one officer put it "(Tolgyes) is one of our ladies."

The young woman was known to frequent the Barton Street East area between James Street North and Wellington Street North, and King Street East between East Avenue and Wentworth Street.

Halton police say she was seen in Hamilton the night of Aug. 23 or Aug. 24 getting out of a red pickup truck on Grant Avenue around 9 o'clock. 

Police, who are trying to trace Tolgyes' last movements, have asked anyone who knew her or who had seen her between Aug. 22 and Aug. 29 -- the day her body was found -- to contact them.

People can telephone the Halton police at 1-866-425-8847 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The young woman's death shocked old friends who knew her from their school days as well as recent acquaintances who feared for her lifestyle.

Mary, who did not want her last name used, was a teammate of Tolgyes' on Bennetto's track team in 1995.

"She was my (relay) medley partner and she was pretty fast," Mary said in an interview yesterday. 

"She was good."
Mary said she lost contact with her childhood friend for awhile but rain into her near Barton Street a few months ago.

"I heard she had a baby about 18 months ago."

Another member of the Bennetto team said she last saw Tolgyes walking along Barton Street East a few months back.

"She looked pretty rough," she said.

Another young woman said she met Kimlyn Tolgyes at the Hamilton-Wentworth detention centre recently and knew her as a crack-addicted street worker.

"But I can't say anything bad about her," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

"She was pretty perky most of the time.
"She was staying in a house on Barton Street near Hamilton Strip (club) with a lot of other girls and their men."

The owner of of a video store near on of Tolgyes' former addresses on Wentworth Street South remembered her as a regular customer up until a few months ago "when she may have moved from the area."

The man said the young woman came in often but he was concerned about her.

"She was cheerful enough but I could tell she was not always happy.
"I don't know what it was about her, but she was not happy."

--With files from Barb Brown and Cheryl Stepan, The Hamilton Spectator
You can contact John Burman at or at 905-521-2469.