Woman found dead in Toronto apartment was strangled in apparent murder-suicide, police say

Click to play video: '22-year-old refugee from Ethiopia is Toronto’s 59th homicide victim' 22-year-old refugee from Ethiopia is Toronto’s 59th homicide victim
WATCH ABOVE: Officials say Bethelhem Geleta was killed in an apparent murder-suicide. As Catherine McDonald reports, a friend of Geleta says she had just broken off an affair with her roommate, her alleged killer, weeks before she was killed. – Nov 11, 2019

Toronto police say a woman who was found dead in a midtown apartment last month was the victim of an apparent murder-suicide.

Police said officers were called to a residential building in the area of Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 for unknown trouble.

Officers arrived on scene and found a woman without vital signs and a man suffering from trauma in one of the units.

READ MORE: Toronto police investigating after 2 die following midtown incident

Both were rushed to a trauma centre in critical condition where they later died, police confirmed.

The woman has been identified as 22-year-old Bethelhem Geleta. Police said she died by strangulation.

Story continues below advertisement

The man has been identified as 30-year-old Aboma Daba.

Solomon Lome was friends with Geleta and told Global News on Monday that her boyfriend called him on that day in the afternoon and was asking for him to come over.

He said he later learned that the boyfriend, who was at work, had not been able to get a hold of Geleta by phone.

It was her birthday and they were planning to meet for lunch at the Scarborough Town Centre. When he couldn’t reach her, her boyfriend drove towards the apartment which they shared with Daba and called 911 on the way.

When Lome found out that Geleta had been murdered, he said it was “very hard to swallow because can you imagine, Beti’s (Bethelhem) only 22. That was exactly her birthday, Oct. 26 was her birthday.”

Lome said that a few weeks prior to the incident, the three of them got together to talk as there was a thought that Geleta may have been having love affairs with both of them.

“I think part of it was ‘who do you love?’ And Geleta’s response was I’m treating (Daba) like my brother, whereas my boyfriend is my boyfriend,” Lome said. Following this discussion, Geleta’s boyfriend start looking for a new place to live without Daba.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Suspect wanted after 87-year-old woman attacked, robbed: Toronto police

Lome said Daba worked at a grocery store and was a quiet person. He said there were no signs that Daba was a violent man.

The three of them were all best friends, Lome said.

Homicide Squad Det. Paul Worden confirmed to Global News when Geleta tried to break off the relationship with Daba, he threatened to kill her and himself.

“Both Geleta and her boyfriend were aware of the threat, but did not believe [Daba] would follow through,” Worden said, adding police were never contacted about the threats.

The deaths are not being treated as suspicious. Police said the incident was an apparent murder-suicide.

A memorial service was held for both Geleta and Daba on Sunday at a church they belonged to.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to help send their bodies back to Ethiopia for their funerals.


Sponsored content