Toronto neurosurgeon accused of killing his wife was once charged with assaulting her

The Toronto doctor whose remains were found in a suitcase this weekend filed a peace bond in 2005 against husband Dr. Mohammed Shamji, who is now charged with first-degree murder.

Elana Fric-Shamji filed a peace bond against her husband, but charges were dropped in July 2005

Toronto neurosurgeon Dr. Mohammed Shamji has been charged with first-degree murder after police found the remains of his wife, Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji, in Vaughan, Ont., last Thursday. (Toronto Police Service)

The Toronto neurosurgeon charged with first-degree murder in his wife's death was also charged with threatening to kill her in 2005.

Dr. Mohammed Shamji was charged with one count of assault and two counts of uttering death threats in May 2005, Ottawa provincial court records show. The complainant was Elana Fric-Shamji, according to a police source connected to the current murder investigation in Toronto.

In July 2005, the crown agreed to withdraw the charges in return for a peace bond with various conditions, including for Shamji to not communicate or associate with his wife, and to not be within 200 metres of her place of residence, unless with her consent which could be "withdrawn at any time." 

The peace bond also stipulated Shamji "not possess any weapons" and "continue counseling and treatment" with a physician.

The couple, who were entering the second year of their marriage, had been living in Ottawa at the time.

It's unclear what happened between the couple during the months the charges were laid and they were withdrawn. Ottawa provincial court staff could not provide the exact conditions of the peace bond as some of the case files have been archived.

Shamji now facing first-degree murder charge

In 2012, the couple moved to Toronto with their children. Fric-Shamji, a physician at the Scarborough Hospital whose expertise was in medical policy, was found dead in Vaughan, Ont., on Thursday. 

Her husband was arrested at a coffee shop Friday. He has been in custody since then and was charged with first-degree murder on Saturday. 

Fric-Shamji filed for a peace bond against her husband in 2005. He had been charged with assault and uttering death threats. (Twitter)

The news of both Fric-Shamji's death and of her husband's arrest shocked patients and friends. Photos on social media catalogued family trips and smiling snapshots of the couple.

But the prominent family doctor's sister and colleagues told CBC News that the marriage was in trouble — and that Fric-Shamji had filed for divorce.

"She said she was looking forward to a new beginning," her Ontario Medical Association colleague, Dr. Darren Cargill, recalled in a recent interview.

The couple's three children are in the care of Fric-Shamji's family.


  • An earlier version of the story stated the court dismissed the peace bond. In fact, the peace bond was issued in return for the charges being withdrawn.
    Dec 09, 2016 11:44 AM ET

With files from Judy Trinh