A 29-year-old man charged with three counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of a woman and her two teenage children in Ajax, Ont., was remanded into custody following a brief court appearance on Thursday.
Cory Fenn of Ajax stood in the prisoner’s box in the Oshawa courthouse wearing a black t-shirt and bruises on his face. He kept his eyes closed and looked down while the charges were read to him.
Police said they were called to a home on Hilling Drive, near Westney Road South and Lake Driveway West, at around 11 a.m. Wednesday by a woman who went to check on her female friend. When she went to the door, a man refused her entry before he left the area in a vehicle.
When police arrived on the scene, they found a 15-year-old boy dead. Later, police said the boy’s 39-year-old mother was also found dead in the home.
WATCH: Close friends, neighbours mourn loss of Ajax family
A 13-year-old girl was found with serious injuries. She was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to a Toronto trauma centre in life-threatening condition where she later died of her injuries.
Police said a third sibling, a 16-year-old girl who lives at the home, was at a friend’s house when the incident happened and was unharmed.
The victims have been identified by police as Krassimira Pejcinovski, her son Roy and daughter Venallia.
Police have not said how the three died, but have noted that autopsies were expected Thursday or Friday.
“As soon as we get those results back we’ll have a better understanding of how they died,” Const. George Tudos said on Thursday.
Investigators said the Fenn was in a relationship with the woman found inside the home.
WATCH: Durham Regional Police say they’ve arrested a 29-year-old male from Ajax in connection with the homicide investigation
Police said a vehicle used by the accused to flee the scene was later found abandoned near Brock Road and Highway 401. He was arrested Wednesday night in Oshawa.
Fenn was known to police before the incident. He had been convicted of assaulting a police officer, for which he was given a suspended sentence and 12 months probation in 2009, court officials said.
He was also convicted of mischief and given a suspended sentence, 12 months probation and ordered to pay $205 in restitution following a conviction for mischief in 2011.
On his Facebook page, Fenn lists the Toronto District School Board as his employer, but the board said it could not confirm he worked for them, referring all questions regarding the case to police.
Sources confirm to Global News the accused was employed by the TDSB as a general maintenance worker and that he wasn’t assigned to a specific school.
When asked about police background checks, the TDSB said all staff are vetted before they are hired.
“All staff require a Police Reference Check prior to working for the Board and are required to provide an offence declaration each year of their employment,” TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said in a statement.
“All individuals with a police record are interviewed by a trained Employee Services staff member to determine if that record should preclude them from working at the TDSB.”
The president of a Toronto minor hockey organization said Roy Pejcinovski was a star goalie with the major bantam Don Mills Flyers.
Peter MacInnis said Pejcinovski’s death is a “tremendous loss” for the team, which is in the city finals to qualify to represent the Greater Toronto Area for the provincial championship.
WATCH: Cory Fenn, accused in Ajax triple homicide, has criminal history. Kamil Karamali reports.
“It’s tough for the players on the team, the parents, the staff – he was a great kid,” MacInnis said. “And his buddies on the team are 14 or 15, how do you deal with that?”
MacInnis said the teen was a top player, who had promising prospects in next year’s Ontario Hockey League draft.
“On behalf of the Don Mills Flyers Organization, our entire team, the players, their families and our coaches, we want to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Roy, Krissy, and Vanna Pejcinovski,” the Don Mills Flyers said in a statement released on Thursday.
“We are heartbroken to have lost, so suddenly, three members of our extended family. Our focus right now is on supporting our team as they deal with this devastating loss.”
The team’s Friday night game has been cancelled, but they will hold a practice on Saturday where grief counsellors will be brought in.
Roy was a Grade 9 student at Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto, said Vince Pagano, the school’s headmaster.
“I don’t know how many totally-loved kids each school has (but) I can assure you that he was one of ours â€¦ People were just constantly talking about his kindness to them,” Pagano said. “In honour of Roy and what he and his family meant to the Crestwood, the school has volunteered financial assistance in paying for the funerals.”
Pagano said he only met Krassimira Pejcinovski once or twice at parent-teacher interviews, but found her to be kind and charming.
“(She was) a loving young mother who should have been given a lot more life to do that with,” Pagano said.
Fenn is scheduled to reappear in court on March 28.
Anyone with information is being asked contact Det. Horrocks or Det. McDermott of the Major Crime Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5418.
— With files from The Canadian Press, Jamie Mauracher and Nick Westoll