A 40-year-old Toronto neurosurgeon has been charged with first-degree murder after police found his wife’s body in a suitcase Thursday afternoon in York Region, officers announced late Friday.
York Regional Police were called to Nashville Road, west of Highway 27, in Kleinburg, Ont., at around 3:30 p.m. with a report that a body was found at the side of the road.
After a post-mortem investigation on Friday, Toronto police said 40-year-old Dr. Elana Fric Shamji – who worked at The Scarborough Hospital as a family physician – died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Toronto police Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan said during an update late Friday that Shamji, who was a mother of three young children, was last heard from Wednesday evening and that she didn’t show up for work Thursday or Friday.
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Shamji’s mother, who lives in western Ontario, called 32 Division officers Thursday to say she hadn’t heard from her daughter. Police then launched an investigation before the homicide unit was called in on Friday, Ryan said.
He said police believe she was killed in the family home in Toronto’s north end, which Shamji and her husband Mohammed both resided in with their children. Ryan said he believes the alleged murder occurred late Wednesday or early Thursday.
He said the accused, who didn’t disappear or attempt to flee, was arrested at a coffee shop in the community of Port Credit in Mississauga before 8 p.m. Friday and taken to 32 Division in Toronto to be processed.
Police have sealed the family home and investigators are waiting for a warrant to search the house. Ryan said officers have seized two vehicles.
He said this case has taken him by some “surprise.”
“It’s different in the sense that both the deceased and the accused are both such respected doctors in the community,” Ryan told reporters, adding the couple were married for 12 years.
“It’s a sad case – you’ve got three children that are now without their mom and their dad.”
Dr. Mohammed Shamji has been charged with one count of first-degree murder.
According to the University of Toronto’s website, he was hired as a surgeon-scientist and staff neurosurgeoun at Toronto Western Hospital in 2012. Mohammed Shamji is also listed as an assistant professor of surgery with the University of Toronto.
He is expected to appear in a Toronto court Saturday morning.
Anyone with information is being asked to call Toronto police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
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