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Lucy Li, suspect in Hamilton shooting homicide, returns to Canada

25-year-old Yun (Lucy) Lu Li is one of two suspects accused in the murder of 39-year-old Tyler Pratt. Li returned to Canada on Monday July 12, 2021 after allegedly fleeing to eastern Europe in February. Yun (Lucy) Lu Li / Instagram

One of the two accused in an early 2021 shooting death of a B.C. man in Hamilton has returned to Canada from eastern Europe to face a murder charge, according to police.

Homicide detectives say 25-year-old Yun (Lucy) Lu Li returned from Hungary in the custody of two Hamilton police officers on Monday.

Li landed on Canadian soil yesterday afternoon and made her first court appearance in a Hamilton court on Tuesday. She remains in custody and is expected again at the Sopinka court house on July 27.

Read more: Suspects in Stoney Creek shooting homicide arrested in Hungary: Hamilton police

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender, of the major crime unit, said he was one of the officers that accompanied Li on her way back to Ontario from Hungary, where she and fellow accused Oliver Karafa allegedly fled to after the murder in the city’s east end on Feb. 28.

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Callendar told Global News the process to bring back Li was an “involved one” that required many facets of the judicial system including the Crown, RCMP, ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), Interpol, the department of justice as well as authorities in Hungary and its judicial system.

“Once all the paperwork is sent and approved both here in Canada and abroad that allows authorities to individually transfer to a specific country,” Callender said.

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Callender said Li and Karafa were arrested after 10 days of back and forth consultation between Hamilton police and authorities in Budapest.

Tyler Pratt, 39, was killed in the February incident behind a closed Arvin Avenue business in Stoney Creek. His 26-year-old girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, were allegedly targeted in the shooting.

It’s believed Pratt was in Ontario to prepare for a move to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as part of a entrepreneurial venture. Police say they are not sure what led to the shooting.

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Investigators believe Karafa and Li flew to the Czech Republic hours after the occurrence and hid in eastern Europe for close to three months.

Read more: Two suspects wanted for first-degree murder in fatal Hamilton shooting of B.C. man

Detectives say the focus of the investigation is now turning to a potential return of Oliver Karafa to Canada. The accused 28-year-old, a citizen of Slovakia, is fighting extradition and remains in custody in Budapest.

“He is currently still in Hungary and fighting the extradition process,” Callender said.

“To my understanding he is having an extradition hearing tomorrow and then some legal proceedings after that.”

Even if a court rules in favour of extradition, Karafa has the right to appeal which could continue to delay any potential return to Canada, according to authorities.

 

 

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