A funeral was held in Toronto on Wednesday for an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly killed by her father in his Brampton home on her birthday.
Friends and family gathered to remember Riya Rajkumar at the Lotus Funeral and Cremation Centre Wednesday morning.
A vigil was held at Garden Square in downtown Brampton Tuesday evening where speakers recited speeches, poems and prayers in memory of the young girl. Across the street, the clock tower at Brampton City Hall was lit pink for Riya.
Interim Peel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord read a poignant statement written by Riya’s mother, Priya Ramdin, who described her daughter as her “best friend, my everything.”
“Riya was always a happy and positive child. She loved life, and was always excited about everything life had to offer. She never liked to be negative,” Ramdin wrote.
“She touched a lot of lives with her laughter and her contagious big smile. It breaks my heart I will no longer be seeing that smile, hearing her voice – I will never have her in my arms again. I can’t believe she is no longer here with me.”
She said Riya was a dreamer and wanted to become a doctor, drive a Lamborghini and own a mansion. She noted how her daughter loved Drake and to play card games.
“She was a little princess who loved dressing up, having her hair curled and done up. She was a social butterfly who loved to spend time with family and friends. She was a great dancer and singer,” Ramdin wrote.
Police said Riya died on Thursday, which was also her 11th birthday. She was found dead in her father’s home near Hansen Road North and Crawford Drive in Brampton late Thursday evening after an Amber Alert was issued.
Officers said Riya was out with her father for her birthday on Thursday and was supposed to be dropped off with her mother at a predetermined time. Police said Ramdin contacted police at around 7 p.m. due to a concern about her daughter’s safety and a parental abduction investigation was launched.
The girl’s father, 41-year-old Roopesh Rajkumar, was arrested in Oro-Medonte, Ont., north of Toronto just after midnight on Friday. The arrest came shortly after a resident called police after hearing details of the accused’s vehicle through the Amber Alert.
Rajkumar has been charged with first-degree murder. Police said the accused remains in hospital after being injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound prior to his arrest. His case is expected to be brought to court once he is medically cleared to attend. As of Tuesday, it was unclear when Rajkumar might be released from hospital.
— With files from David Shum