A university student was killed in front of her own webcam while her helpless boyfriend looked on. Officers found the semi-naked body of 23-year-old Qian Liu in her Toronto apartment at York University Village after receiving a tip-off from her boyfriend,who was chatting with her online 11,000 miles away in China at the time of the attack.
The witness said he was talking to the English Language Institute student , originally from Beijing, at about 1am on Friday morning when there was a knock at the door. ‘She opened the door to a male. She could have known the male but he was unknown to the online witness,' Toronto Police Det–Sgt Frank Skubic said.
The witness, speaking from Beijing, then told police he watched through the webcam lens as the muscular man with medium-length brown hair asked the victim to use her mobile phone. He then watched as a violent struggle developed between Qian Liu and the man, although some of the fight also took place out of the camera's range. The suspect - described as white, in his 20s, 6ft tall and about 200lbs - then turned off the IBM ThinkPad T400 laptop, which is now missing.
The victim’s stunned boyfriend quickly used social media to contact others who knew the woman in Toronto and China but police didn’t arrive at her apartment until around 10 hours later. Miss Liu was one of eight people who lived in the multi-unit house and flatmates said she had only moved there in January of this year. Police have now issued a plea to computer experts as they try to recover webcam images of the attack.