Calgary Sun

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Dead kids in car trunk spark murder probe

By JONATHAN JENKINS, SUN MEDIA -- Calgary Sun

TORONTO -- The peace of a Scarborough cul-de-sac was shattered by sirens yesterday as homicide detectives investigated a report that a depressed mother had smothered her two children in the trunk of a car.

The first police arrived just after 7 p.m. on Nero Court and found a green sedan in the family's driveway. Homicide investigators arrived just before 9 p.m.

The woman, Yasotha Thiyagarajah, was devastated after her husband, Mahendran Thiyagarajah, died about a year ago, said his brother Yokeswaram Thiyagarajah, who was out at the scene last night.

HUSBAND HAD DIED

She wrote "yes" and "no" on two pieces of paper and placed them before her husband's photo, Thiyagarajah said.

"She asked him, 'Do you want me to come with you?' " he said, adding she picked up one of the pieces of paper with the word "yes" on it.

Thiyagarajah said the woman's brother came out to investigate after calling the house and got no answer.

"They found a letter," he said.

The letter requested that she and her children have all the same funeral arrangements as her husband did, he added.

"She wanted to join him. She thought when she picked 'yes' that he was calling her home," Thiyagarajah said.

Friends and relatives identified the girl as Shyami, 5, and the boy Sagi, 3.

"We heard the hollering and came out to look," said a neighbour, who asked not to be named. "That's when the officer opened the trunk of the car and saw the bodies.

"They took her out of the trunk so I assumed she was still alive, and then they closed the trunk," the neighbour added.

WOMAN NOT MOVING

The woman was not moving, but paramedics gave her oxygen before an ambulance took her away, a witness said.

"It's a real tragedy," he said.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.