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Man Helplessly Witnessed Girlfriend's Murder Over Webcam

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

April 22, 2011

TORONTO – Cops in Canada have arrested a man suspected of killing a Toronto college student whose boyfriend watched her being attacked via webcam.

Toronto police nabbed Brian Dickson, 29, Wednesday afternoon and charged him with first-degree murder.

Authorities didn’t say how Dickson was connected to Qian Liu, a student at York University from Beijing, or whether the two knew each other.

Liu, 23, was speaking to her boyfriend in China around 1 a.m. Friday when a man knocked on her door and asked to use her phone, police said.

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Qian Liu was found dead inside her basement apartment.

The boyfriend, Meng Xianchao, told police that he watched helplessly as the man suddenly attacked Liu – then turned off her laptop during the struggle.

For several hours, Xianchao frantically tried to reach several of Liu’s friends in Toronto but he was unsuccessful.

Her body was discovered in the apartment by two friends and her landlord nearly 10 hours later.

Liu was naked from the waist down, police said, adding that there were no signs of sexual assault or trauma.

Her laptop was taken and remains missing.

The Toronto Star reported that a rejected suitor had been stalking Liu in the days before her death, and that she and the stalker once lived together.

A friend of Liu’s also posted online that Dickson and Liu once lived together, but police wouldn’t confirm that, the Star said.

Liu arrived in Canada in September and had lived at the apartment where she died since January.

Her grieving parents arrived in Toronto on Wednesday after a 13-hour flight from Beijing and briefly spoke to reporters.

“We are very sad but we would like to take this opportunity to thank . . . everyone, the media, community and Chinese consulate staff,” Jianhui Liu, the victim’s father, said. “Thank you, but we are really tired.”

Police are still awaiting a coroner’s report to determine the cause of death.


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