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TORONTO: Three bodies found at 85 Thorncliffe Park Dr.

Police silent on suspected triple murder in Toronto’s east end

ROBYN DOOLITTLE The Globe and Mail

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Toronto police say they won’t be elaborating on the connection between a suspected triple homicide and the death of a man who plummeted onto a busy highway this weekend until after an autopsy is performed on Monday.

A little after 1 p.m. on Saturday, a man plunged off of the Leaside Bridge onto the southbound lanes of the Don Valley Parkway. About four hours later, homicide Det. Tam Bui said police received “a report” about the three bodies at 85 Thorncliffe Park Dr., a condo-style apartment high-rise in Toronto’s east end. Emergency Medical Services said that two adults and one child were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they are treating the apartment deaths as homicides, although officers are offering few details about the man who died on the DVP. The hit-and-run unit is investigating that incident, which is customary whenever someone is killed on the highway, including instances of suicide.

Speaking to reporters outside the apartment building Sunday afternoon, Det. Bui was asked whether the man who died on the highway lived at the Thorncliffe apartment.

“There’s been a lot of speculation regarding that. I can say that traffic services’ hit-and-run unit is working alongside the homicide squad to identify what connection, if any, there is [between the incidents]. There is some correlation, but it’s very non-tangible at this time,” he said, without further explanation.

Det. Bui did not respond when asked about whether police were considering a possible murder-suicide. When asked about rumours circulating among residents about whether this was a situation of domestic violence, the detective said, “I would ask anyone with information to contact the homicide squad or Crime Stoppers.”

On Monday, forensic pathologists will perform an autopsy on the three bodies found inside the third-floor apartment. Until then, police said they won’t be commenting on the gender or age of any of the victims. They also said they are executing search warrants, including on vehicles.

“We’re continuing with the legal identification of the [individuals, which] can be difficult under certain circumstances,” the detective said, adding they are still in the processing of speaking with next of kin. Officers would not elaborate on those complications.

On Sunday, residents huddled in circles in the Thorncliffe building’s lobby to discuss the weekend’s events. On the third floor, an officer was stationed outside apartment 302 at the end of the hall. A shaken-looking woman who answered at the unit next door told a reporter to speak with the police when asked about her neighbours.

On the other side of the elevators, Ashraf Elnaas said he noticed the police arrive the evening before but he thought it was a “small problem.”

The 36-year-old, who lives in the apartment with his wife and young child, said he is new to Canada from Libya. He said the building is a mix of people, young and old, families, and newcomers like him. It’s a nice community, Mr. Elnaas added. As for apartment 302, Mr. Elnaas said he doesn’t specifically remember ever seeing anyone going in or out.

Toronto police said the autopsy on Monday will take most of the day. They won’t be announcing any more details, including cause of death or whether a weapon was recovered, until after the examinations are done.

“We are looking for any witnesses, anyone that might have heard something suspicious occurring here last night or the night before,” Det. Bui said. Police are also interested in hearing from anyone who might have seen something at the Leaside Bridge earlier that day.

With a report from Adrian Morrow

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