Toronto Sun

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Car trunk horror

2 kids found dead, mom taken to hospital

By JONATHAN JENKINS, TORONTO SUN



A Scarborough mother shattered by her husband's accidental death is suspected of murdering her two young children, discovered along with her in the trunk of the family car.

Family members called police to the quiet Nero Ct. home near Brimley Ave. and Eglinton Ave. just after 7 p.m. when they discovered a note, the children's uncle Yokeswaram Thiyagarajah said.

"She couldn't accept that my brother had died," Thiyagarajah said of his sister-in-law, Yosatha Thiyagarajah.

He said the distraught woman had asked for a sign from her dead husband Mahendran, killed last summer in an industrial accident.

'SHE THOUGHT IT WAS A SIGN'

She had written "yes" and "no" on two pieces of paper, crumpling them up and placing them before Mahendran's photo, then asking him if he wanted her to join him, Thiyagarajah said. She then chose one of the crumpled papers.

"She thought it was a sign," he said. "She thought he was calling her home."

Thiyagarajah said the woman's brother came to investigate after phoning and getting no answer.

"They found a letter," he said, which requested that she and her children be given the same funeral arrangements given her husband.

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

A red metal tricycle and a smaller blue plastic one sat on the lawn in front of the tidy home as dozens of neighbours gathered to watch.

"We heard the hollering and came out to look," said a neighbour. "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, who asked not to be named, said.

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

"I looked in," said Nick, another area resident who was nearby when the bodies were found by a young uniformed officer. "You could see the little faces."

Police, who said they had not confirmed any identities, said the children's mother was recovering in hospital and was considered a suspect in their deaths.

"Det. (Rudy) Pasini and I will be talking to her tonight if we're able to," Homicide Det. Gary Giroux said.

The vehicle, with both bodies inside was to be towed away for forensic investigation, Giroux said.

Yosatha Thiyagarajah was not working but had received financial compensation, her brother-in-law said.

"She was fine financially and physically," he said, but added she was taking pills to help her sleep.

The family came to Canada from Sri Lanka about 10 years ago. Mahendran Thiyagarajah was working at Teknion Furniture System, near Dufferin and Finch, when he fell off some storage shelves and broke his neck.

"Just last Saturday we had a remembrance for him here," Thiyagarajah said, pointing to the house.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.