Police confirm ransom demand was made in Wanzhen Lu kidnapping case
York Regional Police say that a ransom demand was made in the alleged kidnapping of a 22-year-old Chinese international student in Markham last month.
Police previously said that no ransom demand had been made in exchange for the return of Wanzhen Lu, who police believe was kidnapped by four suspects from a Markham parking garage on March 23.
But during a court appearance Tuesday for 37-year-old Toronto resident Abdullahi Adan, the first suspect to be charged in the case, it was revealed that a ransom demand had allegedly been made.
Const. Andy Pattenden told CP24 Tuesday that the demand was made “later on in the investigation.”
Investigators would not say what the alleged captors requested.
Police say Lu was taken from an underground parking garage at a condo building near Highway 7 and Birchmount Road at around 6 p.m. on March 23.
According to police, Lu was with a female friend in the garage when a group of suspects pulled up in a Dodge Caravan. Police say one suspect shocked Lu with a conducted energy weapon multiple times, forced him into the waiting van, and drove off.
Lu’s friend was not injured.
The victim was found in good health in Gravenhurst on March 27 by a man who was out walking his dog in the front yard of his home on Doe Lake Road.
Investigators said Lu may have been driven to the area by his abductors and then released.
The first suspect in the case was identified on Monday when York Regional Police issued a Canada-wide warrant for Adan.
On Tuesday morning, Const. Andy Pattenden confirmed that Adan turned himself in overnight.
Adan has been charged with kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, and assault. He appeared in a Newmarket courtroom for a bail hearing on Tuesday.
Police are still searching for the three other suspects wanted in connection with the kidnapping. Security camera images of the men were previously released by investigators.
"It is only a matter of time before they are identified. Do what Mr. Adan did. Seek legal counsel and turn yourself in right away," Pattenden said.
"We’ve got those images out… somebody is going to recognize who they are. We need you to call us. Let us know their names so that we can close in on them and get these three suspects in custody as well."
Police also issued a warning to anyone who may be aiding and abetting the perpetrators.
"If you are considering hiding these guys or if you are now, it is not a good time to be doing that. You could be facing a criminal offence," Pattenden said.
Adan is scheduled to return to court next on Friday at 9:30 a.m.