Toronto police say a man facing a murder charge in the death of a woman who was stabbed and then set on fire was out on bail on domestic violence-related charges at the time of the killing.
Detective Sergeant Brian Borg said Monday the body of the 27-year-old Bridget Takyi was unrecognizable when it was found Saturday, describing the death as "extremely violent."
Det. Sgt. Borg said Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, 30, who is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death, was known to police and was supposed to be under house arrest while out on bail.
The detective said Mr. Owusu-Ansah was charged Dec. 5 with three counts of assault, two counts each of assault with a weapon and weapons dangerous to the public peace and one count of threatening death.
He said all of those charges were related to domestic violence and all involved a victim whom police believe to be the same woman who was killed on the weekend.
Investigators say postmortem examination results revealed that the cause of death was multiple sharp-force injuries to the body.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah was arrested at a Mississauga gas station on Saturday, just hours after the woman's death, Det. Sgt. Borg said, adding that he appeared in court Sunday and was remanded in custody. He's due back in court Tuesday morning.
The woman was killed at about 4 a.m. Saturday in a west-end neighbourhood as she headed to her parked car in order to leave for work, Det. Sgt. Borg said.
"I can also tell you that her death was extremely violent. That death included both the victim being stabbed and being set on fire using a flammable substance. As well, the intensity of that fire has virtually left her body unrecognizable."
"Needless to say, at the time that this homicide was committed, the accused was in breach of numerous conditions of his court-ordered release," he added.
Police have released photographs of items found at the homicide scene – including a gas can and a knife box – and are asking for the public's assistance in finding out where the accused may have bought them. Photos of the items are posted on the Toronto Police website at www.torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases.
The accused was released on bail on the earlier charges with numerous conditions including house arrest and will appear in court on those counts on Jan. 30. Det. Sgt. Borg said he could not comment further on those charges since they are before the courts.
The death is the city's third homicide of the year.