Thousands say goodbye to murdered restaurateur
About 2,000 people attended a funeral service Monday morning to say goodbye to George Koutroubis, a 36-year-old Toronto restaurateur who was found murdered last week.
Parking overflowed to a nearby shopping plaza in Thorncliffe Park as crowds of people and a horde of reporters gathered to hear the tribute to a man many described as generous and warm-hearted.
The service was sombre, said Nick Athas, a friend of Koutroubis who attended the funeral. He told reporters outside the funeral home that there wasn't a dry eye among the mourners.
"I'm not a very emotional person but yet my legs are shaking," he said, his voice cracking as he answered reporters' questions. "Everybody in there was crying."
Koutroubis, who was the co-owner of Six Steps Restaurant and Lounge, an upscale eatery in downtown Toronto, was found inside his SUV in Peel region on Feb. 23.
Police said he was beaten to death at another location before being driven to a building parking lot in Brampton. Authorities found his body about a week after he was reported missing and just days after he was supposed to leave on his honeymoon with his wife of two months.
"It's unexplainable that someone would want to do something like this," Athas said. "There are crazy people out there and I hope they're brought to justice."
Koutroubis was known to facilitate sports bets, police said. He was last heard from on Feb. 17 when he called a friend to say he was in Whitby waiting to meet with a business associate. Authorities said he could have been meeting with someone who owed him money.
There haven't been any arrests in the murder but police say they have a few strong leads in the case.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney