At 11 pm Thursday, an amber alert had been issued for Riya Rajkumar but soon after the police issued a statement that the 11-year-old’s body was found in the basement apartment of Roopesh Rajkumar, the father and ex-boyfriend of the girl’s mother.
The man had picked up his 11-year-old daughter to celebrate her birthday. He is now in police custody and will soon be facing charges. A homicide investigation is underway.
According to reports, Riya’s mother initially contacted police to report her daughter hadn’t been returned to her at the agreed time of 6:30 p.m. Riya did not live with her father full time, police said, but had been dropped off at a gas station in neighbouring Mississauga at around 3 p.m. so he could take her out to celebrate her birthday.
Her mother had received concerning messages from Roopesh Rajkumar, indicating he intended to hurt himself and their daughter.
After several hours of fruitless investigation, an Amber Alert was issued but cancelled after officers found Riya’s body.
Rajkumar was arrested by OPP on Highway 11 near Orillia, about 130 kilometres north of Brampton, around midnight, after a caller reported seeing the silver Honda Civic described in the Amber Alert.
Rajkumar was transferred to the custody of Peel police. Officers will meet with Crown lawyers Friday afternoon to discuss what specific charges he may face.
On Friday morning, Riya’s elementary school Meadowvale Village Public School sent an email to families to tell them counsellors would be on hand to support her friends and classmates for “as long as they are needed.”
“Riya was a well-liked student, and her death is deeply felt by everyone at the school.”
Staff at the school have set up a memorial for Riya in the foyer, it added.