Community rallies behind the daughter of murder victim

Photo by Travis Fortnum

A massive police presence outside the home at 5270 Simcoe Street North soon after the body of Cotie Weekley was discovered by her 8-year-old daughter..

A GoFundMe campaign has begun to raise money for an 8-year-old girl after her mother was brutally murdered on the Oshawa-Scugog border.

Cotie Weekley, 31, was found without vital signs in the backyard of a home at 5270 Simcoe Street North with apparent stab wounds Jan. 23.

Weekley was a bartender at the Moose Pub and Grill in Port Perry since it opened in November.

Cotie Weekley
Cotie Weekley

Durham Regional Police (DRPS) received a call at 11:40 a.m. on Jan. 23 after Weekley’s 8-year-old daughter ran to a neighbour’s house for help.

Police say a 31-year-old man was also found at the scene with serious, self-inflicted wounds and was taken to hospital.

In a news release, DRPS confirm that the man was known to Weekley. Meantime, another police source says Weekley had recently played a role in having the man released from jail on a surety.

Shortly after the call came in, the residence was lined with as many as 10 police cruisers.

Ally Carswell, 18, lives a block away from the scene on Oakridge Trail and says the police presence on the scene escalated quickly.

“I went to pick my sister up from UOIT and there were no cops there,” she says. “Then I got home and I was leaving for class just after 12 p.m. and the whole hill was lined with cop cars.”

Carswell has lived on Oakridge Trail her whole life and says the residents of the house were seldom around.

“My mom didn’t even know anyone lived there,” she says. “It used to be an old lady with a bunch of cats.”

A canine unit swept the entire property, which officers surrounded with police tape.

At the Chronicle’s deadline, the man found at the scene was listed in critical condition in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and no charges had been laid.

A media release from the DRPS says that officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy before releasing more information.

In the wake of the incident, members of Weekley’s family started the GoFundMe campaign to help Weekley’s daughter.

“While Cotie was a loving mother, she was a single parent and did not yet have the means to save for her daughter’s future. Her daughter will need assistance with her education, clothes, toys, and eventually high school and college,” says the GoFundMe page.

After the first day, more than $5,000 had been raised toward the campaign’s $50,000 goal.

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Travis Fortnum is a second-year journalism student. He has a love for politics and is passionate about covering campus news, community events, and sports. Aside from the Chronicle, his stories have been featured in the Oshawa This Week, Brooklin Town Crier, Whitby Snap'd and on