Family in India mourns daughter found dead in B.C.

A family from northern India is grieving the loss of 21-year-old Prabhleen Kaur Matharu, whose body was found in Surrey, B.C., last week.

Police are investigating the death of the international student who, her father recalls, begged him to send her abroad so she could be successful.

Her body was one of two found in a residence in central Surrey shortly before 5 p.m. PT on Nov. 21. Police said the woman's death appears to be a homicide and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is investigating.

Prabhleen Kaur Matharu came to Canada in 2016 to study business at Vancouver's Langara College, according to friends and family.

The woman's father, Gurdial Singh Matharu, confirmed that a Punjabi-speaking RCMP officer called the family to inform them of her death. Reports in Indian news media confirmed the women's identity and the suspected homicide.

Gurdial Matharu

Monday morning, IHIT tweeted that the bodies were of a 21-year-old woman from India and an 18-year-old man from the Lower Mainland.

"We are working hard to gather evidence to identify the events surrounding this tragedy," wrote IHIT Const. Harrison Mohr.

News of the young woman's death has devastated her family in India, said her 64-year-old father.

"My daughter was so happy. We were happy. But after this happened ... we hate Canada," said Matharu, speaking in Punjabi on a phone call from India on Monday.

He said his daughter grew up with her parents and brother in the village of Chitti, near the city of Jalandhar in the state of Punjab. She was due to head back home this January.

Her local community in Vancouver is also grieving her. 

"Everybody from our village, we have 40, 50 families here, everyone is upset," said Kashmir Singh Dhaliwal who attended the same school as Matharu's father.

Gurdial Singh Matharu

Dhaliwal says her parents are planning on bringing her body back home to India. 

"We will try to help the family when they come here," said the family friend. "We will take care of them. We will make all the arrangements and we will try to raise some funds for sending the body back home."

Matharu said his wife Manjit has been unable to speak since learning of the death of her daughter, whom he described as happy, bright and full of promise. Manjit Matharu visited her daughter in B.C. a few months ago.

Matharu said police informed his family of the suspected homicide in a phone call, but gave no further details.

He said the family, which does not have a lot of money, had already scraped together what they could from relatives to send their daughter to Canada.

Now they're awaiting a letter confirming her homicide so they can get visas to travel to B.C. and find out what happened to her.

"The little money we had, and money we borrowed from relatives, [was] based on our daughter's own choice," said Matharu, who described his daughter's dream of getting to Canada.

"'Papa, I want to be successful. Send me abroad,'" said Matharu, describing his daughter's wishes.

"When this had not happened, we were happy. Now with this ... we are finished," he said.

CBC