Did Guang Hua Liu meet her demise at the very business she worked so hard to open earlier this year?
That's what Peel Regional Police are trying to figure out as homicide detectives review surveillance videos from the Scarborough plaza where she owned a spa called Forget Me Not. It was the last place she was seen alive, according to investigators.
A source close to the case said this evening that detectives are using the surveillance footage to try to identify a person of interest in the murder probe.
Liu, a single mother of three whose body parts were found in the Credit River in south Streetsville and Scarborough last week, was planning to return to her native China this year, according to her Scarborough neighbours.
Liu, 41, was last seen by friends at the spa she ran on Eglinton Ave. in Scarborough, back on Aug. 10 and reported missing the next day.
Liu, who went by the name Heather, planned to sell the spa. Friends said the night she went missing, Liu was meeting a prospective buyer at the spa. She was never seen alive again.
Investigators are still trying to confirm the details of that meeting.
She was the mother of an adult child, whom she lived with, and two younger children, who are living with their father.
Jong Soon Suh, the owner of a dry cleaning business located in the same building as the spa, says Liu was planning to leave Canada just months after opening the spa because her former husband had decided to return to China with the two children.
Pharmacist Imran Bachcha, who works next door to the former spa, said police have asked to review video recorded by on-site security cameras.
Peel Homicide Insp. George Koekkoek said police haven't determined a cause of death and said it's too early to determine whether this case might be linked to organized crime or her job at the spa, which was defunct prior to her disappearance.
The City of Toronto said it received and investigated complaints that the business was operating as an illegal body rub parlour.
No charges were ever laid.
Until April, Liu worked at Asia Studios, a body rub parlour
at Warden Ave. and Sheppard Ave. E. where she was licensed as a body rub practitioner
since Sept. 7, 2010.
Bei-Bei Ni, Asia Studios’ owner, said Liu left to start her own business. She opened Forget Me Not in May and worked there as a body rubber
and licenced holistic practitioner.
Koekkoek added today that he doesn't anticipate any public updates in the immediate future but added "these cases are always very fluid and dynamic and things can change very quickly."
Some of Liu's dismembered body has been found. So far, a foot, head, two hands, a thigh, an arm and calves have been discovered since last Wednesday. Koekkoek said there are further human remains out there.
Detectives believe the single mother of three was murdered.
"We're treating this as a homicide given the nature of what we've uncovered thus far," Koekkoek said.
Liu was a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent.
Her neighbours in Scarborough said she had a tenant and one son living in the unit with her.
She also had a boyfriend named Ken who reported her missing to police, a neighbour said.
Police are reviewing other surveillance footage from around the former spa and other locations.