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'He was a saint': Retired surgeon and philanthropist killed in Toronto home
TORONTO -- A retired oral surgeon and philanthropist has been identified by family friends as the man found dead inside a Toronto home on Tuesday morning.
Police received a call at around 8 a.m. after a relative found the man's body inside a North York home on Howard Drive, near Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue East.
Family friends have identified the man as 79-year-old Paul Morgan. They said he was a retired oral surgeon, a philanthropist, who donated to many charities, and a volunteer with Indigenous communities.
He was the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, CTV News Toronto has learned.
He also acted as a surety to at-risk youth across Toronto.
Michael Lavelle told CTV News Toronto that Morgan had been a father figure to him since he was a child.
"Dr. Paul Morgan was a legend," Lavelle said. "To say that he had god in his life would be an understatement.”
"The amount of goodness that came out of this man is so inspirational, that as I say it, if I told you the truth, you wouldn't believe it. You just wouldn't believe that a man could be this selfless.”
Neighbours said there was often activity at the home.
"He never locked his doors. His doors were always open for people to come in and get shelter," said his neighbour, George Papagiorgiou. "He was a saint."
Speaking to CTV News Toronto at the scene on Tuesday, Det.-Sgt. Keri Fernandes could not confirm the identity of the deceased.
“He hasn’t been conclusively identified yet,” she said. “There are some obvious signs of trauma and that itself makes the difficulty in the identification.”
The Toronto Police Service’s homicide unit has taken over the investigation, which Fernandes says is still in its early stages.
Morgan's cause of death has not been released.
No information regarding any possible suspects wanted in connection with this case has been released by officials thus far. Furthermore, police would not confirm if they believe the victim was a resident of the home where the body was found.
“There is a lot of information about what happens at this residence,” Fernandes said. “We are still investigating that but until I can conclusively say that the person inside is a resident… it would be presumptive of me to address that.”
Detectives were seen at the home with forensic identification investigators and a coroner Tuesday morning.
Police officers are canvassing the neighbourhood for more information.
“Right now we are seeking the public’s assistance with anybody that has seen comings and goings with the house,” Fernandes said.
“We are going to speak with as many witnesses that come forth from this community right now but really we are looking to identify any and all occupants from the house.”