South Asian Doctor Charged After Wife’s Body Found In Suitcase

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header-1Mohammed Shamji Charged With First-Fegree Murder Of physician Wife!

south-asian-doc-killer4Elana Shamji was reported missing lasat Wednesday night, November 30 and her body was found in a suitcase in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto the following day. Her husband Mohammed Shamji was arrested last Friday evening at a coffee shop in Mississauga. Police said the couple, who had been married for 12 years, were having marital problems and believe the woman's death was "a deliberate act."

TORONTO – A South Asian neurosurgeon with Ottawa roots has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, a family physician.

Elana Shamji, 40, was reported missing on Wednesday night and her body was found in a suitcase in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto on Thursday, reported CBC News.

south-asian-doc-killer2Her husband, 40-year-old Mohammed Shamji was arrested Friday evening at a coffee shop in Mississauga.

Police said the couple, who had been married for 12 years, were having marital problems and believe the woman's death was "a deliberate act."

Shamji attended private school in Ottawa at Ashbury College, graduating in 1995. He later studied medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., returning to the capital to do his residency at the Ottawa Hospital.

Elana Shamji's death has been met with "widespread shock and grief," said Dr. Nadia Alam, a family physician and anaesthesiologist in Georgetown, Ont.

Brand-D-Logo"She was a big part of various physician Facebook forums, so many docs knew of her, if not her directly," Alam said. "And many enjoyed her sense of humour, keen intelligence and kindness."

Dr. Virginia Walley, president of the Ontario Medical Association, said in a written statement Saturday that she was active in "many efforts to improve the healthcare system."

Farheen Imtiaz, whose son used to go to the same school as the physician's children, said the pair used to "girl talk" when volunteering together at school events, like pizza lunches and the Terry Fox Run.

"She was such a loving person in every role, whether it was a doctor, being a friend, being a mother," Imtiaz said. "She adored every second of motherhood."

Elana Fric-Shamji was described as a "shining star" on track for a leadership role in the medical field by her colleagues and her boss.

south-asian-doc-killer3Wearing a purple ribbon to honour victims of domestic violence, Dr. Larry Erlick, medical director of family medicine at The Scarborough Hospital, said Fric-Shamji was a "first-class family doctor" adored by both her patients and her co-workers.

"She was fantastic — she had that fire and potential to be a great leader," Erlick said. "She was someone to model. She was always upbeat and always made people feel happy."

Erlick, who recruited Fric-Shamji last year, said that she was as devoted to medical policy as she was to her practice, especially with issues surrounding health care for women, the underprivileged and refugees.

Fric-Shamji was also a respected member of the Ontario Medical Association's policy committee. She earned her medical degree from the University of Ottawa and later graduated from Duke University's master's degree program in public policy.

The accused Mohammed Shamji, 40, is also world-renowned neurosurgeon. He made a brief court appearance last Saturday and has been returned to police custody. 

Although Fric-Shamji's friends and family have said the pair were having marital difficulties and there was an abusive relationship, none of that has been proved in court.

According to family and friends, the couple's marriage was in trouble and Fric-Shamji had filed for divorce.

"She discussed things with me. There were issues," Erlick said. "I know why, but that's all I want to say about the matter."

Erlick called Fric-Shamji a dedicated mother.

"She took them to school, picked them up … bathed them at night. [She] looked after the house and them," he said.

The doctor's three young children are in the care of a grandparent, her boss said.

Fric-Shamji's sister, Carolina Lekic, called her "a nurturing mother" who was always involved in her children's activities despite the demands of her work.

Growing up, Fric-Shamji was more of a bookworm, dedicated to school and to running, Lekic said. She became a lively woman, however, someone who was "smart, funny" and beloved by those in her circle of family and friends.

Those were among the things her family will pass on to Fric-Shamji's children, Lekic said.

"Through these kids, we see her," she said. "So there's definitely always going to be the love and caring that my sister would want us to see carry throughout their lives."

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