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‘Dedicated’ teacher allegedly killed in Vaughan home, husband charged with murder

A woman allegedly killed by her husband inside their Vaughan home early Wednesday has been identified as Toronto school teacher Estella Wheeler. 

Officers were initially called to the residence on Isa Court, near Highway 27 and Langstaff Road, around 12:30 a.m. after receiving calls from concerned neighbours, York Regional Police said.

They arrived to find the 64-year-old Wheeler with serious injuries. Despite life-saving measures, she was pronounced dead on scene.

Wheeler’s 68-year-old husband was arrested at the home and later charged with second-degree murder, said Const. Lisa Moskaluk, spokesperson for York police.

A ‘well-known, dedicated’ teacher

Wheeler taught Grade 7 and 8 at Africentric Alternative School in North York, a Toronto District School Board school where she had worked for more than seven years.

“Ms. Wheeler was a well-known, dedicated team member at Africentric Alternative School who cared for all her students. During her time at our school, she developed strong relationships with students and staff, and will be remembered as an incredibly kind and giving person who was friends with everyone,” the school’s principal wrote in a letter to parents and guardians on Wednesday.

The school said support and resources were available for staff and students, particularly for those in her class, and that social workers were at the school Wednesday.

“The Africentric community will come together to show our respect and support for the family based on their wishes in the weeks ahead,” the letter said.

‘She showed up every time,’ parent says

Norgie Williams, co-chair of the parents council at the school, told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning Thursday that Wheeler cared deeply for the wellbeing of her students.

“She was just a very, very kind person,” Williams said.

Wheeler taught both Williams’ sons.

“She had been a family member for me and my family for years, and that’s exactly how parents felt when communicating with her about their child,” Williams added.

“You know how it ‘takes a village?’ She was definitely part of that village and she showed up every time. And that’s why she is so beloved.”

More information expected in coming days: police

Moskaluk did not provide any further information about the nature of Wheeler’s injuries when police arrived at the home. She said an autopsy is scheduled for the coming days.

Moskaluk could not say whether anyone else was inside the residence when officers arrived or if they recovered a weapon at the scene.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact York police or to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.

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