32-year-old woman found dead in Park Ex apartment, police searching for suspect partner

Montreal police are trying to locate the partner of a 32-year-old woman who was found dead in an apartment in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood. 

Officers discovered the woman in a Park Ex apartment after receiving a 911 call

Montreal police's major crimes unit is investigating the death of a woman after she was found in an apartment on Birnam Street in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood Monday evening. (Jean-Claude Taliana/CBC)

Montreal police are trying to locate the partner of a 32-year-old woman who was found dead in an apartment in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood.

Officers found the woman's body in a home on Birnam Street, near the intersection of rue Saint-Roch, Monday evening, after receiving a 911 call at around 5 p.m.

Her partner, a 30-year-old man, is a suspect in her death. Police are still trying to locate him and no arrests have been made. Known to police, the man was charged with uttering death threats to his partner in May. 

"We can confirm that the victim and the suspect are spouses," said Montreal police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils this afternoon. "Sadly, there was a child on the scene, and the suspect is a man of 30 years old. And he's still missing, so we're still looking for him, and the investigation is still ongoing."

Gina Di Frucia, a resident whose house is next door to the apartment building where the death occurred, says she heard screaming yesterday. 

"There was a little girl screaming on the balcony but there's so many kids screaming here with the bikes and all that so nobody paid really attention to what was going on," she said. 

Pictured is the balcony of the apartment where the victim lived with her partner. (Ivanoh Demers)

Shortly after, Di Frucia says six or seven police cruisers pulled up to the apartment. She says she assumed officers were responding to an argument. 

"We didn't expect anything like this," she said. 

Di Frucia, who has lived on Birnam Street for 28 years, says the couple were new to the building, having moved in only three or four months ago. She says something like this has never happened so close to home. 

"It's sad, it's really sad. We're in 2021 and this thing with women...we're still getting killed."

Disturbing trend continues

The woman is the 13th homicide victim on the island of Montreal this year. 

Though police still don't know the exact circumstances of this death, 13 other women were killed in cases linked to intimate partner violence this year in Quebec.

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."

In a tweet, Mayor Valérie Plante offered her sympathies to the woman's family and said "this type of vile violence" has left her speechless.

Last month, 55-year-old Nathalie Piché was found dead in her Quebec City apartment.

In April, the Quebec government announced an investment of more than $220 million over five years to go toward resources to fight domestic violence following a notable spike in domestic homicides. 

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 

With files from Chloe Ranaldi and Sarah Leavitt