Body parts victim Liu Guanghua, 41, in a photo handout from Canadian police.
Another day, another body parts case in Canada, and once again the victim turns out to be Chinese.
This new case first came to light last Wednesday when hikers chanced upon a right foot with yellow painted toenails at a park in Mississauga, a western suburb of Toronto. A woman’s head was found by police the following day and a pair of hands floating down the river Friday.
Over the weekend, an arm, two calves and a thigh were found in a creek some 45 kilometres away in eastern Toronto.
Police have dismissed any link to the Luka Rocco Magnotta case, in which a small-time male escort and pornstar dismembered and apparently ate the body of 33-year-old student from Wuhan by the name of Lin Jun.
After sparking off a global manhunt, Magnotta was eventually arrested two months ago at an Internet cafe in Berlin, Germany, while he was searching for porn and news reports about himself.
Police have identified the victim in the new case as Liu Guanghua, a 41-year-old single mother of three, who was first reported missing by friends on Aug 14, one day before her foot was discovered. Forensic tests show that Liu’s body parts had been in the water some five to seven days before they were found.
Liu was a licensed holistic practitioner and was the proprietor of a spa named Forget Me Not.
CBC News spoke to other business owners in the neighbourhood and here’s what they found:
Helen Savo-Sardaro, the building manager for the complex where the spa was located on Eglinton Avenue, told CBC News that police told her that Liu left the spa at 5:30 p.m. on the day she disappeared.
Savo-Sardaro was also a client at the spa. She said Liu ran a legitimate business and was very professional.
Imran Bachcha, a pharmacist who works next door to the spa, said police have requested access to the video recorded by on-site security cameras.
Bachcha told CBC News that police were interested whether the cameras covered the exterior of the pharmacy.
They told him they were “doing some major investigations regarding that missing woman.”
A few doors down, Jong Soon Suh became tearful over the news about Liu’s death.
“It’s a nightmare,” said Suh, who has owned a dry cleaning business in the complex for nearly 18 years. “It’s very sad. She was the mother of three children.”
Suh said a Caucasian man came into her store last week with a missing poster of Liu. He was visibly upset and said that Liu was his girlfriend.
She said the spa had been owned by a married couple for the past few years until they sold it to Liu in May so they could go back to China. Suh said the new owner mostly kept to herself.
Friends said Liu was planning to sell the spa after only a few months in business and, the evening she went missing, was scheduled to meet a prospective buyer, CBC’s Jeff Semple reported.
The Globe and Mail gives us a glimpse into her life:
A Canadian citizen, Ms. Liu lived in a townhouse in Scarborough near Huntingwood Drive and Kennedy Road, within walking distance of the creek where her two calves, arm and thigh were found.
She lived with her adult son, while her two younger children lived with their father.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she sometimes went by the name Heather.
She added Ms. Liu’s son spoke better English than his mother, but it seemed like it was not his first language either.
AP report on Aug 17 on the discovery of the body parts:
Previously on Shanghaiist
In Canada: Chinese student chopped up and eaten by porn star, body parts sent to political parties
Watch: Parents of cannibal killer victim Lin Jun speak to Canadian TV