Chinese woman killed on webcam was stalked: Friend

Liu Qian, 23, had been chatting online with a friend when a man in his 20s knocked at her door.

Updated: Apr 20, 2011, 12:21 PM IST

Ottawa: A Chinese student in Canada whose
likely murder may have been captured by a webcam was being
stalked, a friend claimed on Wednesday.

Police identified the victim as 23-year-old Liu Qian.
She had been chatting online with a friend overseas when
a man in his 20s with a muscular build and medium-length brown
hair knocked at her door and asked to use her cell phone.

An assailant was seen through the lens of the webcam
struggling with Liu in her basement apartment near York
University in Toronto at about 1:00 am (0500 GMT) Friday.

The online witness saw part of it, but some of the action
took place out of the camera`s scope. The assailant then
turned off the laptop computer, which is now missing. Hours
later, her body was discovered by police.

A man identified only as a friend of Liu posted on a
Toronto-based Chinese-language chat room that "the suspect
once shared the same house with Liu" and had been "chasing
after her."

When she rebuffed his advances, the suspect "then started
stalking her by texting her all the time," the friend wrote in
the chat room cited by the daily Toronto Star.

He also said the online witness Liu was chatting with via
the webcam was actually her boyfriend of seven years.

Toronto police sergeant Frank Skubic said it was "not
clear" if Liu knew her attacker. He said investigators spoke
with her former roommate and "he did cooperate."

Public broadcaster CBC had said the victim`s mother
contacted the Chinese consulate in Toronto, which alerted
local authorities.

Police said there were no signs of "substantial trauma"
to the body that could identify the cause of death, nor any
"obvious" signs of sexual assault.

However, she was unclothed from the waist down.
"Liu`s death has not been classified as a homicide,"
Skubic told a press conference.

"But we are investigating this as a homicide and with the
due diligence that`s required of a homicide investigation...
with the expectation that at some point we will be able to
come to a determination as to what led to her death."
An autopsy was scheduled for this week.