July 11, 2014 7:03 am

Mississauga tragedy has mother in mourning and community in shock

WATCH ABOVE: The death of a husband and two sons raises questions of why the call for help was never made. Angie Seth reports.

It’s a case that have so many distraught and confused.

How can a man take the life of his own two children and then his own life, within just hours of leaving the family home?

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The bodies of 36-year-old Samuel Masih, 10-year-old Tyrese Sutherland, and 4-year-old Shantosh were found inside a burned out vehicle on Holicks Road North in Oro-Medonte Township on July 4th. They were burned beyond recognition.

It took police four days to official identify them. Neighbours told members of the media that Samuel Masih and his wife Brinth Shanmugalingam were having marital issues.

The investigation into the deaths of Masih and his two sons is still ongoing. Police are now trying to piece together an investigative timeline that will help determine what led to the deaths of the three family members and why.

The outcome the police are leaning towards is that this was a murder-suicide. However no official confirmation will be made until the investigation is complete.

READ MORE: Mississauga father, 2 children identified as bodies found in burned car

The couple were going through a divorce. On the afternoon of July 4th, Samuel took his two sons to the movies, but never returned.

Experts say, there are two issues at play in this case.

The first being the level of privacy the family kept. A Priest at a local church the family attended told Global News members of the family had no idea the couple was having problems.

“The whole South Asian culture tends to be very private and they want to deal with the problems as much as they can on their own,” Baldev Mutta, CEO of Punjabi Community Health Services told Global News.

The second issue Mutta says is that men tend to handle domestic crisis differently from women. He says men are more closed and tend to want to handle the situation themselves rather than seek help.

This Mutta says, can lead to a great deal of stress and depression.

“In this case, the person may now be coming to the realization, oh my God, I’m gonna lose the entire family. So those thought processes keep revolving around in their head, that … there is no hope there is no way out … once they are in that though process nothing makes sense to them,” Mutta says.

Questions are being raised as to what happened and if this could have been prevented. Were there signs of depression or mental illness?

Mutta says, “somewhere along the line we should be much more proactive in looking at signs and symptoms from these men who might be distraught because, this is the only identity they have, my family, and once that is gone, for them it’s utter hopelessness.”

He adds, removing that sense of hopelessness is the key. He says getting men to talk is the first step.

“There is no shame in seeking help, that when you feel overwhelmed please talk to someone”. Once we start that process of talking, all the negative thoughts about hopelessness start to wither away, because the other person will give you some hope, I’m here, please come, it you need to come back again, we can talk,” Mutta says.

Meanwhile, the local church the family used to attend, the Evangical Asian Church of Toronto plans to hold a memorial service and funeral for Samuel Masih, 10-year-old Tyrese, and 4-year-old Shantosh, once their bodies have been released.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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