Police seek information in slaying

Police are appealing for information from anyone who may have witnessed unusual activity at Ashbridge’s Bay in an effort to map out an area man’s whereabouts hours before he was found dead.

Officers discovered Jin Tao Zhu, 20, with signs of trauma to his body after being called to a Gerrard Street East and Greenwood Avenue home the morning of Feb. 15. An autopsy determined the cause of death as blunt force injury.

Five males were arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Homicide Detective Sergeant Terry Browne said the investigation is continuing as police try to determine Zhu’s exact whereabouts the night of Feb. 14.

He said police have reason to believe Zhu was at a bar in the Yonge and Bloor area, but they haven’t been able to identify which one and want to speak with anyone who may have socialized with him, or saw him in that area.

Zhu was also believed to be in the Ashbridge’s Bay area sometime later that night and possibly into the early morning hours of Feb. 15.

Browne said at some point, Zhu was transported from Ashbridge’s Bay to the Gerrard Street home, but investigators aren’t certain what condition he was in at that time.

Browne said a family occupies the residential home. Zhu lived nearby.

The victim and the accused, all immigrants from China, all knew each other, said Browne.

“At very minimum, they were acquaintances, maybe some would be friends but certainly all were familiar with each other.”

The Detective Sergeant said neither the accused nor Zhu were known to police and that there is nothing to indicate the incident is drug-related, or related to any illicit activity.

“This is what makes this even more tragic, there’s nothing that I’ve discovered so far that shows a large, sinister background that would’ve resulted in this.”

Xiao-Ming Chen, 18, Peng Ren, 18, Zhong-Rong Zheng, 19, Zhao-Hui Chen, 18, and a 15-year-old boy — all of Toronto — have each been charged with second degree murder.

About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: Mar 15 2010 11:25 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto