Police identify victim of city’s latest homicide
Updated: Sat Sep. 06 2008 11:58:05 AM


Toronto police have identified the woman found tied up and stabbed to death in her apartment Tuesday evening.

Yuan (Tracy) Tian, 31, was found on her bedroom floor by her boyfriend around 6:30 p.m.

Police questioned the boyfriend at great length on Wednesday and investigators are verifying his alibi.

The lead homicide detective on the case said Friday that investigators are working on a number of theories and still don’t have any suspects in the gruesome slaying.

Investigators are “keeping an open mind” about what might have happened to Tian in her apartment at 75 Talara Drive, in the Bayview Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East area, Det. Sgt. Frank Skubic said Friday.

An autopsy confirmed the cause of death to be multiple sharp force injuries to the body. The post-mortem did not indicate that the victim was sexually assaulted, Skubic said.

There were no signs of robbery at the scene. However, officers were expecting to obtain a warrant to search the apartment for evidence sometime this weekend.

Skubic did say Tian had many people visit her apartment in recent days after she placed an advertisement for a room for rent in her two-bedroom apartment.

Her brother had lived with her until he moved out earlier this summer to pursue a job in the United States, Skubic said.

Police are also pursuing leads after neighbours reported seeing a prowler in the area dressed all in black and peering into ground-floor apartment windows.

Skubic appealed to anyone with information about a peeping tom, “no matter how trivial it may seem,” to contact police.

He also asked that more of Tian’s friends and any former boyfriends come forward to tell police what they know of her life.

Skubic said the victim came to Canada in 2005 to further her education.

She attended both the University of Guelph and the University of Windsor and had recently obtained an economics degree.

She was looking for a full-time job before she died.

Skubic said that 33 Division will increase patrols in the neighbourhood. As well, the division will set up a command post vehicle in front of the building at 6 p.m. Friday to answer questions and take statements from neighbours and potential witnesses.

The vehicle will remain on site throughout the weekend.

The slaying is the city’s 46th homicide of 2008.


Stabbing victim a student from China
Woman, 31, was seeking a tenant

September 6, 2008

A 31-year-old Chinese expatriate student found bound and stabbed to death in her North York home Tuesday night had been seeking to sublet a room in her rented two-bedroom apartment and several prospective tenants had visited, detectives said yesterday.

Police had not immediately named the victim, pending notification of her parents, who live in a remote part of China. But she has now been identified as Yuan (Tracy) Tian, who recently completed an economics degree at the University of Guelph after arriving in Canada in 2005 and initially studying at the University of Windsor.

Found lying on the floor of her home with her hands tied behind her, Ms. Tian died of multiple stab wounds, an autopsy yesterday concluded. There was no overt sign of a sexual assault, Detective Sergeant Frank Skubic said.

Ms. Tian was looking for a roommate because her older brother had recently moved out of the four-storey building to go to the United States to pursue a job opportunity, Det. Sgt. Skubic said.

The pair had shared a unit on the top floor of the Talara Drive building in the Bayview Village neighbourhood near Highway 401.

Her body was discovered by her boyfriend, who called 911 and who, after extensive police interviews and an examination of his car, is not viewed as a suspect.

Ms. Tian’s hunt for a tenant, advertised on a Chinese-language website, is only one area under scrutiny, Det. Sgt. Skubic said. “There are a number of theories we are investigating.”

Ms. Tian had had previous boyfriends, he said.

Another line of inquiry involves complaints by tenants about a possible peeping Tom, seen hovering around the building and peering through ground-floor windows.

A preliminary inspection of the apartment showed no sign of a robbery, Det. Sgt. Skubic said. However, police had still not conducted a thorough examination because they were awaiting a search warrant, a process delayed because several names are on the apartment lease.

Ms. Tian’s death was Toronto’s 46th homicide of the year.

“This is an incredibly sad situation and we send our condolences to her family,” said University of Guelph spokeswoman Lori Bona Hunt, who said that Ms. Tian completed her economics degree this summer and was awaiting her graduation.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, the former custodians of a seven-year-old girl allegedly beaten to death while in their care have had charges of second-degree murder upgraded to first-degree murder.

Donna Irving, 29, and her boyfriend Warren Johnson, 46, were charged after Katelynn Sampson was found dead in their Parkdale home Aug. 3.

Despite a criminal record for drugs, prostitution and violence, Ms. Irving had been given full custody of Katelynn because the child’s mother, Bernice Sampson, was unable to care for her.

The charges were raised to first-degree murder yesterday on grounds that Katelynn had been confined during the abuse, which produced injuries that one detective described as the worst of their kind he had yet seen.


Victim placed ad for roommate

Woman bound and stabbed to death in North York had allowed several people to view her apartment

Sep 06, 2008 01:14 AM
Michele Henry
Crime Reporter

A woman discovered bound and stabbed to death in her North York apartment earlier this week had been searching for a roommate and may have been the victim of a random attack by someone looking for a place to live, police said yesterday.

The 31-year-old woman, identified by police last night as Yuan (Tracy) Tian, lived alone in a two-bedroom apartment and had allowed several people to view her living space over the past few months after listing ads on Chinese website www.51.com.

She was found lying on her bedroom floor, her hands bound behind her back. There is no suspect and no motive has been determined.

Because several names on the apartment’s lease raise privacy concerns, it was taking some time to get a search warrant for Tian’s apartment, said Det. Sgt. Frank Skubic. Police expect to obtain one over the weekend.

“We have a number of theories and none of them have been discounted,” Skubic said yesterday.

“We’re keeping an open mind to any possibility. We’re not in a position to rule anything out.”

Detectives don’t believe the crime began as a robbery and are trying to determine if it was a sexual assault. An autopsy yesterday determined Tian died from numerous stab wounds, but forensic tests have yet to be done.

Officials are asking that anyone who may have visited her fourth-floor apartment at 75 Talara Dr., near Bayview Ave. and Sheppard Ave. E., to come forward.

They are also requesting that any friends – who have not already shown up at the apartment or a police station – and any boyfriends, past and present, get in touch with police.

“We’ve already contacted some former boyfriends,” Skubic said. “But we’re anxious to speak to more and to see what they have to tell us.”

The man who discovered Tian’s body Tuesday afternoon was her boyfriend and occasionally stayed in the apartment, police said. The status of their relationship was unclear.

Officers have questioned the man at least twice and said he was co-operative.

They towed his car, a blue Lexus, on Tuesday but have not yet examined it for evidence.

Police are also checking into reports of a prowler and a peeping Tom in the area and have set up a command post on Talara Dr. to urge residents to provide information, no matter how trivial. They have also increased patrols around Tian’s building, where security guards are on 24-hour duty.

Little is known about Tian, whose identity was being withheld until her parents were notified. Relatives are in the midst of a long trek to her parents’ home in a remote Chinese village.

Tian, whom detectives described as beautiful, was a landed immigrant. Her brother shared the Talara Dr. apartment with her until earlier this year, when he moved to the United States for work.

She had a close network of friends, Skubic said, and was quiet, barely bringing any attention to herself in the building where she had lived for the past year.

Tian completed a master’s degree in economics in August from the University of Guelph. Since immigrating to Canada from China in 2005, she had also attended the University of Windsor. She was looking for work in Toronto.

“It’s incredibly tragic,” said Lori Bona Hunt, University of Guelph spokesperson.


Slaying may be random
Police explore theory woman brutally stabbed in her apartment was victim of ‘psychopath’

Sat, September 6, 2008

Four days after Yuan Tian, 31, was found viciously stabbed to death in her North York apartment, her killer remains at large and detectives haven’t ruled out the possibility of a random attack.

That theory is one of many investigators are exploring but they decided to step up their presence in the victim’s Bayview and Sheppard Aves. neighbourhood just in case.

“I’d really hate to think there is some psychopath running around out there, but we haven’t been able to discount that theory yet,” homicide Det.-Sgt. Frank Skubic said yesterday.

The identity of Yuan Tian, who’s also known as Tracy, the city’s 46th murder of the year, was withheld until Chinese authorities were able to notify her parents, who live in a remote Chinese village.

The woman’s boyfriend, who called 911 around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, told police he found her on the bedroom floor of her fourth-floor apartment at 75 Talara Dr. with her hands tied behind her back. She had been stabbed numerous times.

“It’s a horrific scene,” Skubic said.

He’s still waiting for a warrant to search the apartment.

Tian moved in to the two-bedroom apartment about a year ago, Skubic said. Her older brother moved out about a month ago after finding a job in the U.S.

The boyfriend, who had been dating her less than a year, also had lived in the apartment but had recently moved out. He still had a key, Skubik said.

The man told police he was visiting after work when he made the grisly discovery.

Skubic insinuated the couple may have recently split up, but didn’t elaborate.

He said the boyfriend was questioned “extensively” and is “fully co-operative.”

“We’re still in the process of confirming what he has told us and I expect we’ll be able to do that and eliminate him as a suspect,” Skubic said.

He said there were no obvious signs Tian was sexually assaulted, and robbery is unlikely because nothing is missing from her apartment. There are no signs of forced entry and it’s possible she let her killer in, Skubic said.

Skubic said the victim recently advertised a room for rent on a Chinese-language website and police want to speak to the people who responded. They also want to speak with the victim’s friends and ex-boyfriends.

Investigators are studying reports of a peeping Tom who was spotted lurking in the area over the last few weeks, but have yet to find a connection.

Skubic said the victim was a landed immigrant who arrived in 2005, initially attending university in Windsor and recently completing a master’s degree in economics at the University of Guelph.


Police need help with gruesome murder of North York woman
Fri Sep. 05 2008 9:13:42 PM
Web Staff, cp24.com

Investigators are appealing for the public’s help in connection with the murder of Yuan (Tracy) Tian, 31, in North York Tuesday.

Police say Tian’s body was found tied up on the floor of a bedroom in her Talara Drive apartment, suffering from several stab wounds. They were alerted to the situation after her boyfriend called 911.

However, police are looking for several answers in what is being described as a “multi-faceted” investigation.

They’re looking to get any information about the woman.

Police say Tian had arrived in Canada from mainland China in 2005 and had just obtained an economics degree and was currently looking for a job. She attended two Ontario universities, including the University of Guelph.

Tian had been living in her two-bedroom North York apartment for about a year, police say. Her older brother lived with her but recently left to pursue employment in the United States.

Tian had run ads for the vacated bedroom in her apartment and had shown the place to potential tenants, police say. Investigators are particularly interested in speaking with people who may have taken a look at the apartment.

They’re also looking to speak with anyone who knew her, including former boyfriends.

Police say they’ve interviewed the man who says he is her current boyfriend. They say he has fully cooperated with the investigation and are confirming his story with other sources.


Latest homicide victim was bound, stabbed
Last Updated: Friday, September 5, 2008 | 3:25 PM ET
CBC News
Toronto police have released more details about the city’s latest homicide, but have not yet publicly identified the victim.

At a news conference at police headquarters on Friday afternoon Det.-Sgt. Frank Skubic said the victim was a 31-year-old Asian female, but would not name her, saying her family has not yet been notified.

The woman was found Tuesday evening in her apartment near Bayview Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East.

According to Skubic, the woman was found with her hands bound behind her back on the floor of her bedroom. She had been stabbed multiple times.

Police are asking for friends to come forward, hoping they will be able to give more detail about the woman’s recent activities.

Skubic told the news conference there was “no indication this was a robbery” and said police were looking at any and all possibilities.

“We are actively looking at occurrences that have occurred recently in that community,” he said.

Police say the woman advertised a room for rent on a Chinese language website and would like anyone who contacted the victim or went to her apartment, at 75 Talara Dr., to also contact police.

The victim had been living in the apartment for about one year. Her older brother had lived in the apartment, but moved recently to take a job in the United States.


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