New Brunswick

Husband charged in student's murder

A complicated and difficult six-month murder investigation has led police to charge Abdul Bari, 36, with first degree murder in the death of his estranged wife last July.

A complicated and difficult six-month murder investigation has led police to charge Abdul Bari, 36, with first degree murder in the death of his estranged wife last July.

Police found 26-year-old Shaila Akther Bari dead in her Regent Street apartment after her friends reported her missing. Bari hadn't been seen or heard from in 10 days. Police have not said how she died.

Akther Bari was a native of Bangladesh, and came to Fredericton in 1997 as part of an arranged marriage. At the time of her death, she had been separated from her husband for approximately two years.

Bari was studying business at the University of New Brunswick and working part-time at a Fredericton dry-cleaning business.

Her husband was arrested at his place of business on Woodstock Road on Sunday, and charged Monday morning. He's been remanded in custody until another court appearance next Monday.

It took almost six months for her estranged husband to be charged with first-degree murder.

Fredericton police Sgt. Gary Arbour says it was a complicated investigation. "Very difficult for our investigators because of the circumstances surrounding her death. It wasn't a normal type of a murder," he says. "It had complicated evidence and there were no witnesses to the murder that we could interview."

Arbour won't elaborate on those circumstances or the manner in which Bari was killed. He says that information may come out during the trial.

Abdul Bari had been dating Fredericton resident Barbara McKay for the last year. McKay and her nephew Joel Ross were at court on Monday. Ross says his aunt is shocked that Bari is charged with first degree murder. "Whenever he was around home he seemed like a really calm-natured person. He really seemed harmless to me," he says.