Webcam Murder Victim Identified

by
michal
A York University student whose last moments of life were witnessed by her friend back home in China via an online video chat has now been identified.

A 23-year-old Chinese student was found dead in her basement apartment in a roominghouse just off York University’s campus Friday morning. The home at 27 Aldwinckle Heights was cordoned off by Toronto Police following the suspicious death.A York University student whose last moments of life were witnessed by her friend back home in China via an online video chat has now been identified.

Qian “Necole” Liu, 23, of Beijing, came to Canada on a student visa last September, Toronto Police say.

And now, seven months later, her family is coming here to bring her body back home.

Homicide detectives are handling the case, which may be the city’s first murder ever witnessed through the Internet.

But for now they are only calling the death “suspicious.”

Investigators are waiting for an autopsy to determine the cause of death before.

Liu was found partially naked around 11 a.m. Friday in her basement apartment at 27 Aldwinckle Hts., northwest of Keele St. and Finch Ave. W., a house just off-campus where she lived along with 10 other students.

She may have died up to 10 hours earlier.

Police say Liu was talking via a web cam to a friend when there was a knock on her door around 1 a.m.

The friend apparently watched as Liu answered the door and allowed a man inside to use her cellphone.

There was a “struggle” and the man shut down Liu’s laptop. But not before the friend got a look at him from more than 18,000 km away.

“It’s definitely the first time I’ve seen this,” Det.-Sgt. Frank Skubic said.

The long-distance witness has described the suspect as white, between 20 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall, between 175 to 200 pounds, with a muscular build and medium- length brown hair, messy at the front and well groomed at the back.

He wore a blue, crew-neck T-shirt.

Police located Liu’s cellphone but now they want to find her computer, an IBM ThinkPad T400, believed to have been taken by the suspect.

It’s unclear what, if anything, police may be able to retrieve from the computer if it is found.

York University says Liu was a student at the school’s English Language Institute.

“Qian’s death is a terrible tragedy and our entire community mourns the loss of a promising young student,” the university’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Mamdouh Shoukri, said.

“Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy go out to her family, friends and classmates.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Skubic at 4168087399, or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 416222TIPS (8477).

Toronto Sun