Police search home of ex-boyfriend of victim in body-parts slaying
Published Monday, August 27, 2012 10:02AM EDT Last Updated Monday, August 27, 2012 6:20PM EDT
Toronto-area police have charged an estranged boyfriend in connection with the grisly death of Hua Guang Liu, whose body parts were discovered in two Toronto-area parks in recent weeks.
Chun Qi Jiang, 40, appeared in a Brampton court on Monday morning on charges of second-degree murder and was remanded into custody.
“Mr. Jiang is a construction labourer and the recently estranged boyfriend of the victim,” Peel Regional Police Insp. George Koekkoek said at a press conference.
“This investigation is ongoing and is by no means complete.”
Koekkoek said the suspect is a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent. He said Jiang apparently arrived in Canada in 2002 and was living in the Scarborough area.
It is believed that Liu had been dating Jiang for four years before her death. Police could not say when the couple broke up.
Police identified Jiang as a suspect early on in their investigation. At one point, they searched a Scarborough motel room because a man by the same name had checked in around the time of Liu’s death.
Police scoured Jiang’s Scarborough, Ont. townhouse Monday afternoon as part of the ongoing investigation. A Peel region forensic identification unit was also at the scene during the search.
The townhouse on Brimwood Boulevard, near Brimley Road and Finch Avenue, remained cordoned off by police tape as officers searched Jiang’s unit Monday afternoon. Another police cruiser was parked inside a nearby parking garage.
CTV Toronto’s John Musselman reports that officers canvassing the townhouse complex were asking residents about garbage disposal schedules.
A neighbour also told Musselman that the resident of the townhouse unit was seen last week washing tools in the backyard, while wearing gloves.
“My mom, she said she saw him outside, cleaning stuff with his hands and she said he was wearing rubber gloves,” said neighbour Malek Mustapha Abdullah.
The investigation shocked neighbours, who said Jiang was a quiet man who they seldom saw or spoke with.
“It’s insane. It’s a very quiet, good neighbourhood,” said resident Shannon Leynes.
Neighbours also said police removed a four-door sedan from the complex’s underground parking garage Sunday night.
Police continued their investigation in the townhouse Monday evening and they are expected to remain there for several days.
Liu, a spa owner and mother of three, was reported missing in early August and confirmed deceased after her partial remains were discovered along the Credit River in Mississauga’s Hewick Meadows Park two weeks ago.
Additional body parts, including an arm and a thigh, were found in an east-end Toronto park the following week.
The two locations are about 50 kilometres apart.
Some of Liu’s body parts are still missing and police still don’t know how she died.
Koekkoek said on Monday that police consider the case a “domestic-related homicide,” and had identified Jiang as a person of interest early in the investigation.
He said they were still trying to determine where the murder took place.
“We are still working on that, determining the crime scenes. We obviously have a number of crime scenes with where the body was located. But where the actual murder took place, we are still working on that,” he said.
Victim was spa owner
Liu, 41, was the owner of the now-defunct Forget-Me-Not Spa in Toronto’s east end.
Liu lived with her eldest son in a north Toronto townhouse, while her two younger sons live with their father. Neighbours said she rented out a room in her townhouse to a tenant.
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 said they were told Liu was meeting with a prospective buyer for her business on the night she went missing.
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.
Police are still asking anyone with information about Liu’s death to call Peel police or Crime Stoppers.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry and John Musselman. Follow them on Twitter