Toronto Sun

Monday, September 30, 2002

Father kills girl, 5, and himself

Days before murder-suicide, man was told wife was leaving: Cops

By ROB LAMBERTI, TORONTO SUN

A Scarborough father distraught about the impending end of his marriage killed himself and his five-year-old daughter yesterday.

Aaron Dookie, 34, and his daughter Laurissa, who was a month away from her sixth birthday, were found dead in a van by the child's mom.

The van was in the closed garage of their Wagner Dr. home, in the Lawrence and Morningside Aves. area, around 12:10 a.m.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, arrived home and heard the ringing of a carbon monoxide alarm and smelled the strong fumes of auto exhaust.

After finding the two, she ran across the street to Tom Strizic's home. "She was very hysterical and crying that her husband had killed himself and her daughter," Strizic told reporters.

"She went into the garage and grabbed her daughter out of the van. I took the daughter from her and tried to do CPR, but it was to no avail."

Late yesterday morning, the dead child's mother returned to the scene for a few minutes, but stayed slumped in grief in the back seat of an unmarked police car.

CARBON MONOXIDE

Toronto homicide Det.-Sgt. Mario Di Tommaso said an autopsy yesterday showed Aaron's death was consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning but further tests are needed.

An autopsy is to be performed today on Laurissa.

Di Tommaso believes the electrician left behind a suicide note giving a possible explanation for the murder-suicide.

"I believe the trigger for this entire situation was Mrs. Dookie's intention to end the relationship," he said, adding the couple had been together eight years, and married for six.

Di Tommaso said Aaron was told several days before the murder-suicide that his wife, described as being an executive assistant, intended on ending the relationship.

The couple was still together and were in the process of separating, Di Tommaso said.

There is "absolutely no history" of any domestic violence or of the police being called to the home, Di Tommaso said.

"This is completely out of the ordinary and completely unexpected," he said.

FOUND IN GARAGE

Investigators are still trying to determine how long the father and daughter were in the garage before they were discovered.

Neither Aaron's 10-year-old step-daughter, Lateasha, nor his wife were at home at the time of the murder-suicide.

The deaths come as a shock to the quiet neighbourhood where the Dookie family moved about two years ago.

A resident said she spotted Aaron on the front yard about 11 a.m. Saturday as she went to the market, and they waved to each other. "He was smiling as usual," the woman said. "Who would have thought it would be the last time I'd see him?"

Neighbour Korcel Brown said Aaron, a body builder, and his wife appeared to have a happy relationship. "It's tragic," he said. "They were damn good people. I don't know what could have pushed him to go over the edge this way."

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.