Homicide victim may be missing cabbie

Montreal cab drivers are concerned after a fellow cabbie disappeared during his shift overnight Sunday.

Montreal police are investigating the possibility a body found Wednesday in the city’s LaSalle borough may be that of a cab driver missing since Sunday night.

The body of a man was found in this vacant lot on Wednesday morning. ((CBC))
Mohammed Nehar-Belaid, 64, was last seen leaving his home in Montreal's St-Laurent borough on Sunday night. He never came home after his overnight shift, his family told police.

Wednesday morning, workers found the body of a man in an empty lot at the corner of Lafleur Avenue and Jean-Milot Street, police said. The body bore marks of violence.

The case is being investigated as the 29th homicide of the year on Montreal police territory but officials said it was too soon to say whether the body was that of Nehar-Belaid.

"Right now there are a few steps that have to be taken such as identifying the victim," said Const. Raphael Bergeron. "Obviously we're going to look at the possibility."

Nehar-Belaid’s disappearance has his fellow taxi drivers on edge.

"It hurts — especially since he has a family and children," said cab driver Sleiman Abou-Daye, who knows the Nehar-Belaid.

Security video from a Verdun gas station shows a man of interest to Montreal police in the disappearance of a cab driver. ((CBC))
Nehar-Belaid often picked up fares at the Cote-Vertu Metro Station, were taxi drivers had trouble not long ago.

"It is very worrisome because two months ago two taxi drivers from here were assaulted," said driver Nazem Noun.

Police released images of the missing man’s taxi that were captured by a surveillance camera at an Ultramar gas station on de l'Église Avenue in the borough of Verdun.

Nehar-Belaid drove a 2005 Ford Taurus for Champlain Taxi.

On the security tape, a short-haired black man wearing a dark-coloured coat and T-shirt with a logo on the front can be seen refuelling the taxi. He appears to have a chain hanging from the pocket of his pants.

"It doesn't seem to be the missing man who came out of the cab, so obviously investigators are looking into this to try to find out who is this man and does anybody know him," Const. Anie Lemieux.

Police said Nehar-Belaid’s credit cards were used.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 514-393-1133.