Police have officially identified the woman stabbed to death and set on fire on an Etobicoke street early Saturday morning as 27-year-old Bridget Takyi.
On Saturday morning at around 7 a.m., police were called to the Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West area for an “unknown trouble” call. That investigation then led officers to a second location on Richgrove Drive, where Takyi’s body was discovered with “obvious signs of trauma.”
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
At a media briefing at police headquarters Monday afternoon, Det. Sgt. Brian Borg of the Homicide Squad said the murder itself occurred at or around 4 a.m. Saturday morning, as the victim walked to her car – which was parked on Richgrove Drive – to drive to work.
“It was at that time that an event occurred between the victim and the accused, which resulted in her death,” Borg said, characterizing her death as ‘extremely violent.’ “That death included both the victim being stabbed and being set on fire using a flammable substance...the intensity of that fire has virtually left her body unrecognizable.”
As a result, it took police several days to definitively identify the victim as Takyi.
A post-mortem examination, which was performed on Sunday, revealed Takyi’s official cause of death to be multiple sharp force injuries.
Less than three hours after Takyi’s body was discovered, Toronto police, with the assistance of Peel Regional Police, arrested the accused at a gas bar in the Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue area of Mississauga at around 9:45 a.m.
Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, 30, of Toronto, is charged with first-degree murder.
He appeared in court on Sunday afternoon and was remanded into custody. He was scheduled to appear again on the murder charge Tuesday morning.
In addition to the murder charge, Owusu-Ansah is also currently before the courts on eight outstanding charges – three counts of assault, two counts each of assault with a weapon and weapons dangerous to the public peace, and one count of threatening death – stemming from a Dec. 5, 2012 arrest that also involved Takyi, Borg said.
“These charges all relate to the same victim that the accused now stands charged with murdering, and are domestic-violence related,” he said, adding that Owusu-Ansah is scheduled in court on the outstanding charges on Jan. 30.
“The accused had been released on bail on Dec. 5 with numerous conditions, including house arrest...Needless to say, at the time this homicide was committed, the accused was in breach of numerous conditions of his court-ordered release.”
During Monday’s media briefing, police released the picture of the accused, as well as images of several items found in the area of the crime scene that they believe are related to the case: a Wedco label for a 4.7-litre gas can, a “The Best Defense” knife box, and a pair of gloves found near the scene.
“We believe the accused had purchased gasoline or a substance like gasoline prior to the murder...I want to emphasize that this could have been a very short time before the murder, or several days before,” Borg said, adding that police released the accused’s photo as well as the images of the found items in the hopes that someone might remember the accused purchasing the items.
“Even though a person has been arrested for this murder – and that was very shortly after it occurred – by no means is this investigation concluded,” he added. “I would ask members of the public who have any information about the accused, or about this murder, or who believe they have any relevant information which will assist in this investigation, to contact Homicide at 416-808-7400.”
Tips can also be left with Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).