Body parts probe could delay funeral
Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:06AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, August 22, 2012 1:11PM EDT
Funeral arrangements for a mother of three whose body parts were found in two Toronto-area parks could be delayed as police continue to investigate the grisly death that has captured headlines around the world.
Police continue to investigate the suspected murder of Hua Guang Liu, a spa owner whose body parts were found last week along a Mississauga river and in an east-end park on the other side of the Greater Toronto Area over the weekend.
Liu was identified as the victim Tuesday, one week after her partial remains were discovered along the Credit River in Mississauga’s Hewick Meadows Park.
Police say those remains have been forensically linked to severed body parts, including an arm and a thigh, found in an east-end Toronto park over the weekend.
The two locations are about 50 kilometres apart. Some of Liu’s body parts are still missing.
The recovered remains are currently at the Centre for Forensic Science in downtown Toronto waiting to undergo an autopsy, according to CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry.
“Police still have not been able to complete an autopsy in terms of a cause of death yet. They are still hopeful that those remains – those extra remains – will show up and they will be able to show a cause of death,” Cherry told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
“Her family will likely have to wait to see if anything else shows up before they can move ahead with any possible burial arrangements.”
Liu, 41, was the owner of the now-defunct Forget-Me-Not Spa in Toronto’s east end.
She was a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent with one adult child and two younger children.
Liu lived with her eldest son in a north Toronto townhouse, while her two younger sons live with their father. Neighbours told CTV Toronto that she rented out a room in her townhouse to a tenant.
Liu, who also went by the name Heather, spoke little English and kept to herself in the neighbourhood.
Her business was registered with the city as a “holistic spa,” but police believe that sex acts may have been sold there, just as they were when the spa was operated under a previous name, Clinique Royale.
Liu was last seen by friends who said they dropped her off at the spa, on Eglinton Avenue East near Kennedy Road, on Friday, Aug. 10.
Police say they have been told Liu was meeting with a prospective buyer for her business on the night she went missing. Investigators are still trying to confirm the details of that meeting.
Her remains are believed to have been left in the river about five days before they were discovered, suggesting she could have been killed the day she went missing.
Surveillance cameras positioned outside the spa could help identify a person of interest in the investigation, but few details of the ongoing investigation have been revealed.
Meantime, searches at the two parks where Liu’s body parts were discovered have been called off.
Police have searched Liu’s home, which is near the Scarborough creek where some more of her remains were found.