A Toronto neurosurgeon charged in the death of his prominent doctor wife made a brief court appearance Thursday and had his case put over until later this month.
Dr. Mohammed Shamji faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Dr. Elana Fric.
The Toronto doctor’s body was found badly beaten and strangled in a suitcase on Dec. 1 in Kleinburg, Ont., after a local resident walking on a bridge near the West Humber River notified police.
READ MORE: Case of Toronto neurosurgeon charged in doctor wife’s killing put over to January
Investigators were also looking for keys, a purse and cellphone belonging to Fric near the area where her body was found.
Michelle Vrbanek, a cousin of Fric’s, wore a purple pin for domestic violence awareness and said she appeared at the Toronto courthouse Thursday to show her support.
Shamji’s next court appearance will be on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in a Toronto courtroom via video link. He has been in custody since Dec. 2.
WATCH: Vigil held at Queen’s Park to remember Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji and victims of domestic abuse
Before his arrest, Shamji worked at Toronto Western Hospital and was a faculty member at the University of Toronto.
Fric worked at the Scarborough and Rouge Hospital as a family doctor and was last seen on the night of Nov. 30. Her mother had reported her missing the following day.
READ MORE: Friend of Elana Fric-Shamji remembers fear after Toronto doctor went missing
In a statement released by the family shortly after her death, relatives of Fric thanked police, her colleagues at the Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, the Children’s Aid Society and said they were especially grateful for the support shown for her three young children.
The family also thanked those who made donations in her honour to two charities; the Shelter Movers of Toronto, which helps those leaving abusive households, and the Canadian Centre for Immigrant and Refugee Health Care.
With files from Cindy Pom
WATCH: What happened in the hours before it was determined that Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji was murdered?