Victim of Malvern townhouse murder was popular school lunchroom supervisor
Students and staff of a Scarborough elementary school are mourning the loss of a popular lunchroom supervisor who was killed, allegedly by her husband, at a Malvern home on Tuesday.
Toronto police officers were called to a townhouse on Empiringham Drive and Sewells Road at around 1:40 p.m. after receiving a call about an unconscious woman.
While they rushed to the scene, paramedics gave the caller instructions on how to perform CPR on the woman.
The victim, identified as Jayanthy Seevaratnam, died upon arrival at the hospital. The results of a post-mortem determined that Seevaratnam died as a result of "multiple injuries."
Police quickly ruled her death a homicide and made an arrest in the case the same day.
On Wednesday, the principal of Alexander Stirling Public School sent a letter home to parents notifying them that a “violent incident in the community” resulted in the death of their popular lunchroom supervisor.
“She was a caring and dedicated member of our team and will be sorely missed. We mourn the loss of a member of our school community. I know you join with all of us here in expressing our deepest condolences to her friends and family,” a letter from Principal Matthew Webber reads.
“Our students and staff were informed this morning. As you can appreciate, this was unexpected and very difficult news for staff and students, especially those who knew Ms. Seevaratnam.”
The school said social workers would be made available to counsel students and staff if they need it. The letter went on to say the school will reach out to the community again once they funeral plans are made.
The flags outside the elementary school have been lowered to half-mast.
Neighbours say Seevaratnam was a dedicated mother but that the family had endured difficulties over the years.
“(She was) a very nice woman… Very, very, very nice,” next door neighbour Marva Barrow said. ““I don’t think it was easy for any one of them because he was forever drunk.”
Another resident said the home was often the source of commotion in the neighbourhood.
“The husband, he was always drunk,” Timor Azizi said. “Especially in the summer time, we had a lot of problem, noise and cops around.”
Forensic investigators combed through the unit on Wednesday looking for evidence and speaking with neighbours.
The suspect, identified as Kathirgamanatha Suppiah, made a brief court appearance at a Scarborough courthouse on Wednesday. He has been charged with second-degree murder.
A CTV News Toronto reporter inside the courtroom said Suppiah mumbled into the microphone several times but it was difficult to understand. At one point, he had his hands pressed up against the glass of the prisoner’s box and peered around the empty courtroom as he learned his bail hearing would be put over until next week.
He is due court again next Friday via video where a bail hearing date will be set.
“It’s just sad, as a parent. I don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” neighbour Anju Ahluwalia said of the victim’s two children. “Hopefully they have family they can go to.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Janice Golding