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Police identify Scarborough couple allegedly slain by son

Police tape demarking a crime scene.

JOHN LEHMANN/The GLOBE AND MAI

A middle-aged Scarborough couple discovered slain on the weekend, allegedly killed by their 26-year-old son, have been identified as Jia Ji (George), 59, and his wife Zhou Shi (Shirley) , 51.

Jia Tianli, also of Toronto, was arrested at the crime scene Sunday and appeared in court briefly Monday where he was remanded in custody, charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

The twin killings are the 16th and 17th homicides in Toronto so far this year.

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A postmortem examination is to be held, but police did not immediately disclose the cause of death.

Detectives have declined to speculate about a motive, but have said they are not seeking any other suspects.

The two victims were absentee landlords of the property where their bodies were found and they did not live there, a tenant said.

The tenant – one of five people living at 336 Huntsmill Blvd., now ringed with yellow police tape – told a television station that the owners only came by the neat, two story detached house occasionally.

Documents show that the house was purchased three years ago for $520,000, with mortgages totalling $330,000, and that the home was a rental property.

The tenant said she was one of three people renting accommodation there, and that the other two residents were the accused son and a cousin.

Mr. Jia and his wife travelled extensively, often to their native China, she said. But few other residents of the quiet street, near Steeles Avenue and Warden, seemed to know anything about the family.

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"They pretty much kept to themselves, you'd hardly see them, only when there was a snowstorm or something " said Robert, who lives directly across the street from the house and saw the son being taken away in handcuffs Sunday morning. All three members of the family are Scarborough residents and Canadian citizens, and the accused is an only child, Det. Sergeant Dean Burks  of the homicide squad said.

As to what prompted the alleged violence, "that's a guess," he said.

With a report from Stephanie Chambers

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About the Author

At The Globe and Mail since 1982, in assorted manifestations, chiefly crime reporter, foreign correspondent and member of the Editorial Board, Tim is now retired. More

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