December 3, 2014 3:00 pm
Updated: December 3, 2014 4:54 pm

Woman killed in Toronto triple homicide sought shelter from domestic violence


WATCH ABOVE: We are learning more today about a woman who was brutally murdered along with her two children in their Thorncliffe Park apartment. Catherine McDonald reports.

TORONTO – As dozens gathered Tuesday evening for a sombre vigil for a mother and her two sons found dead over the weekend, new details have emerged about the triple homicide that left a community in shock.

Zahra Mohamoud Abdille was the victim of alleged domestic abuse prior to her death, Global News has learned.

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For three weeks last year, she and her two sons Faris and Zain stayed at Dr. Roz’s Healing Place, a shelter for abused women.

READ MORE: Triple homicide underscores barriers to escaping domestic violence

“My memory of her was a woman who was ambitious. Very bright woman. Very caring for her boys,” said Dr. Roz Roach, who runs the shelter.

“She left her husband and that’s why she came and she lived at the centre for a period of time.”

Roach said Zahra was supposed find her own place but went back to her husband without the shelter’s knowledge.

All three – public health nurse Zahra Mohamoud Abdille, 43, and her two sons 13-year-old Faris and eight-year-old Zain were found dead in their Thorncliffe Park Drive apartment complex Saturday, police said Monday.

Toronto police have remained tight-lipped about the connection between the triple homicide and the death of a man who fell from a bridge over the DVP. Police said they discovered the bodies several hours after recovering the man’s body.

They haven’t identified the man or said what his relationship was to Zahra and her sons.

READ MORE: Toronto police probing link between discovery of 3 bodies, highway death

“The worse thing we can do is suppose it may have been this, it may have been that,” said Staff Sgt. Matt Moyer. “Every single step, every effort, every crack will be examined.”

Mourners who gathered for a vigil at 85 Thornecliffe Park Drive remembered the two young boys as happy and smiling.

“[Faris] would make everybody laugh. Try to make people feel better,” said his classmate Jonny Tsio Tsiakas.

Moyer says the incident has taken a personal toll on investigating officers.

“I will tell you on a personal note, it’s affected the members of Toronto Police deeply.”

*With files from Cindy Pom

© 2014 Shaw Media

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