Montreal police have confirmed the man whose body was recovered from the Rivière des Prairies on Montreal's north shore yesterday is the partner and suspect in the death of a woman killed in her Park Ex apartment earlier this month.
The Quebec coroner's office says the man is Navdeep Singh Ghotra, 30, whom police believe killed Rajinder Prabhneed Kaur, 32.
Kaur is the 13th homicide victim in Montreal this year. And though police say they still don't know the exact circumstances of her death, 13 other women were killed in cases linked to intimate partner violence this year in Quebec.
They say Ghotra had been charged with uttering death threats to Kaur in May.
Officers found the woman's body in a home on Birnam Street, near the intersection of rue Saint-Roch in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood, in the evening of July 19, after receiving a 911 call at around 5 p.m.
Police had been trying to locate Ghotra since then. No other arrests have been made.
Gathering to commemorate victim
A gathering to commemorate Kaur and to denounce violence against women organized by the South Asian Women's Community Centre is being held outside Parc Metro station Friday at 1 p.m.
Kaur's death shook Montrealers as it comes in the midst of a disturbing string of deaths linked to intimate partner violence in the province.
The day after Kaur was found, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante tweeted about her dismay at the deaths of 14 women killed by their partners in Quebec so far this year.
"Fourteen femicides this year. Another last night. I send my deepest sympathies to the victim's family. I am especially speechless in the face of this type of vile violence," she wrote.
Plante also asked victims of violence to get in touch with SOS violence conjugale, a 24/7 provincewide toll-free crisis line which can be reached at 1-800-363-9010 by phone, or via text at 438-601-1211.
Melpa Kamateros, the executive director of Shield of Athena Family Services, says it's "mind-boggling" that another likely case of domestic homicide has occurred. She says it proves that prevention efforts currently in place are lacking.
"Talk is cheap, but action is loud," she said.
Kamateros is calling for more measures that can help prevent conjugal violence, including more police assessments of situations where a partner has a history of violence, legislation to broaden the definition of domestic abuse and stipends for victims of intimate partner violence to help them flee their situation.
"The biggest thing is minimizing the abuse," she said. "It is too much already. Let's stop the killing."
If you are affected by domestic violence, SOS violence conjugale is a provincewide toll-free crisis line, available 24/7. You can reach them at 1-800-363-9010 by phone, or via text at 438-601-1211