No trace of Poonam Litt
Last Updated: April 8, 2010 9:54pm
Kulwant Singh, 61, is pictured, with a photo of his son and missing daughter-in-law on the wall in the background. (JOE WARMINGTON/Toronto Sun)
BRAMPTON — Just days after Poonam Litt broke the news to her husband and family that she was again pregnant, she vanished without a trace.
Her purse, wallet, credit cards and all other personal possessions were left in her Bramalea Rd.-Bovaird Dr. area home that Feb. 5, 2009 morning when, police were told, she handed her two-year-old daughter, Kirinjot, to a relative at about 9 a.m. and left on foot for work.
For 14 months there has been nothing new on this case. But last week it piqued my interest when Poonam’s father-in-law found himself before the courts here charged with criminal harassment in an alleged stalking case and breaching probation.
I decided to take a second look and put a call into Peel Regional Police who told me they are still very hard at work at trying to find Poonam.
In fact new leads show “someone within that house in which she lived with her in-laws” left the residence driving a minivan at 1 a.m., returning at 4 a.m. — about five hours prior to when Poonam was reported to have left home to go to work.
Police now say they believe at least someone inside the Cordgrass Cres. home that night, may have key information on her whereabouts.
In an exclusive interview Thursday with the Toronto Sun, detectives said they’re urging one of the residents to come forward with any details they may have that would help locate Poonam and solve this mysterious case.
“While this remains a missing person investigation, we strongly believe the persons closest to Poonam know what happened to her and where she is,” Peel’s Homicide Officer-in-Charge Insp. Norm English said. “There must be persons in the Litt household who feel great pain and I’m sure want to speak the truth. I can assure you, the police are not going away until we know.”
This assertion comes one week after the patriarch of a Brampton family, the father-in-law of the missing woman, was charged with criminal harassment after allegedly stalking a Malton woman whom he last year had pleaded guilty to harassing and was on probation for.
Kulwant Singh Litt, 61, also pleaded guilty to a 2007 sexual assault of another woman.
Poonam, a 27-year-old mother of a two-year-old daughter, came to Canada from The Punjab in India in 2000. She was reported missing after not arriving at her dental receptionist job not far from the home.
Her husband of five years, Manjinder Singh Litt, 31, who was in India at the time, returned to Canada and offered a $25,000 reward for information on his wife’s whereabouts.
Now police are asking people inside of that very home for more than they have already provided.
“Poonam’s disappearance does not make any sense. It does not fit into her innocent lifestyle or character,” said Det. Dan Richardson. “This woman loved her husband and daughter and they were trying to expand their family. It is our information that she was pregnant.”
Poonam’s truck driver husband, who was told of her pregnancy over the phone while he was in India, was not at the home Thursday but his father Kulwant, home on bail for his latest criminal charge, said he would pass along my number. I am still waiting for his call.
When I asked Kulwant if he knew what may have happened to Poonam, he said “I don’t know” and turned his head away. He also did not answer when I asked him about being before the courts last week on a stalking charge or comment on a previous sexual assault conviction.
He did, moments later, pose for a picture, in front of a portrait of his son and daughter on their wedding day that sits in the home’s living room. Sources say the couple met in Canada through work and that there has been friction between the two families in the time that has lapsed since she vanished.
Poonam’s mother lives nearby and, police say, there has been no contact or positive sightings of the woman since her disappearance.
Although it is a difficult case, with no crime scene, police are confident there will be a conclusion to this bizarre occurrence and are confident that information inside Poonam’s Brampton home will help in that goal.
“There are some questions that need to be answered and they are the ones best to answer them,” English said of Poonam’s family. “This case is not going to go away. Whether it’s in two days, two years or 20 years we are going to find out what happened to Poonam Litt.”