Ottawa family died in murder-suicide, police confirm
Those who knew victims saw no sign of unhappiness
Police have confirmed that four people whose bodies were found in a southeast Ottawa home were killed in a murder-suicide.
The major crime unit has also confirmed that the man found among three women, believed to be his wife and two adult daughters, was the perpetrator, an Ottawa police news release said Thursday morning.
Police have not yet confirmed the identities, but autopsies were scheduled for Thursday in Toronto.
The bodies were found Wednesday in a two-storey house in a new subdivision.
Few details were immediately released by the police, but land registry documents identified the owners as Santbir Singh Brar, 44, and Amarjeet Brar, 46. The couple had two adult daughters, Dildeep and Manmeet, both in their early 20s.
Several media outlets reported that the four died of gunshot wounds, but police have yet to confirm the cause of death.
Lorraine Harrilal, a Carleton University student who worked with Amarjeet Brar at the Bay department store last fall, saidshe was shocked to hear the news about her former co-worker.
"Especially since her life seemed very balanced," Harrilal said. "She always seemed at peace, she always seemed very calm and she always seemed very happy."
Brar spoke often about her daughters, and seemed to have a good relationship with her husband, Harrilal added.
"They seemed to be a very close-knit family..... I always thought there was a lot of love there."
Gurdev Bal, a manager at OC Transpo, where Santbir Brar worked as a garage supervisor, said he knew his co-worker well, although he did not know the family.
Brar was "very polite, always stable and hardworking, intelligent," Bal said, adding that Brar got along well with his co-workers and rarely took time off work.
There had been no sign lately that anything was amiss, he said.
Brar's 20-year-old daughter, Manmeet, had been taking flying lessons and wanted to be a search-and-rescue pilot, said her instructor, Bobby Greenaway.
"She was learning as hard as she could. She knew what she wanted and she was going to do whatever it took," Greenaway said, describing his student as bright, enthusiastic, motivated and a great learner who asked the right questions.
"She wasn't happy unless she totally understood what we were doing and had a clear picture in her mind of what to expect."
He did not recall her talking a lot about her family, but said if she ever mentioned them, it was always in a positive light.
Police found bodies on second visit to house
Police first visited the house in the early hours of Wednesday after someone theydescribed as a "concerned family member" called them.
When officers arrived at the house around 2 a.m. ET, no one answered the door.
Officers returned shortly before8 a.m.and saw something that prompted them to force their way into the locked house.
Inside, they found three bodies— a man and two women — during a quick search.
It wasn't until four hours later during a systematic search that police discovered the fourth body hidden in the basement.
Investigators say their top theory is that the mankilled his family before taking his own life.
Media reports say a gun was found by the man's body.
House'always dark' early
Neighbours described the family living at the Grandpark Circle home, located northeast of the Conroy and Hunt Club roads intersection, as quiet and reclusive.
"I've never seen anybody actually through the window … nor in their backyard. The house seems like it's always dark no later than 10 [p.m.]," said neighbour Scott Rodden.
Another neighbour, Marguerite Joliebois, said she was shocked when she and her son spotted the police cruisersoutside the home. "My son tell me, 'What's going on, Mom?' I said, 'I don't know …something bad.' "
Neighbours say the Brars lived in the house with at least one of their two adult daughters, who were both in their 20s.