Man whose body was found in barrel had Asian crime links
Police remove a barrel believed to be containing a body encased in concrete from the Toronto harbour on Sunday, May 23, 2010.
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:22PM EDT
TORONTO - Toronto police have cracked the mystery of a concrete-encased body found in a rusted barrel hoisted from Lake Ontario.
Det. Justin Vander Heyden said the "well preserved" remains have been identified as Quang Lu, 47, who had ties to Asian organized crime.
Lu, who was known to police and went by the nickname "The Black Ghost," had no regular job and no obvious source of income, Vander Heyden said.
"Given that it did appear that Mr. Lu did live quite a high-risk lifestyle ... at this point I'd be foolish to say we're not entertaining that there's a criminal organization angle to this," he said.
"We are diligent about keeping an open mind in terms of who may have done this to him and disposed of him in this way."
Lu was identified through fingerprint analysis and his left index finger was known to be severed above the knuckle, which also helped investigators make the positive identification. Police are not looking for any more of his remains.
The divorced father of one disappeared in late October or early November 2007, said Vander Heyden, adding his family reacted with "numbness and shock" at news of his grisly end.
Lu kept residences in Canada and spent a fair amount of time in Macau, China, travelling frequently between the two countries.
The detective said Lu returned to Canada from such a trip on Oct. 26, 2007, and was last seen a few days later.
The Vietnam-born Lu, who was of Chinese descent, wasn't reported missing by his family until December 2007 because they weren't initially worried about his whereabouts.
York Regional Police investigated, but wrapped up their probe without finding his body or his car, a 2004 silver-grey BMW.
Toronto police are asking for the public's help in locating the two-door convertible, which could provide key forensic evidence. They have not ruled out it may be in the lake.
Lu's disappearance remained a cold case until Sunday morning, when police got information leading them to call in the dive team to retrieve the barrel from the lake. A crane later hauled the rusted steel barrel from the water next to a construction site.
Toronto Det. Hank Idsinga clarified the information was not "a tip."
Vander Heyden said Toronto police are sifting through boxes of evidence from York police, including video statements and surveillance tapes. He said he believes Lu's body had been in that spot since the time he disappeared or soon afterwards.
No cause of death has been released and no arrests have been made.
There had been speculation the body was Paolo Renda, a reputed major player in the Montreal Mafia kidnapped Thursday.
Body parts of a white man were found Saturday in Oro-Medonte and Lake of Bays Townships in Ontario. Provincial police Const. Peter Leon said the remains were dumped either late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Police haven't been able to identify the victim of the "horrific crime" because some parts of the body are missing, Leon said.
"This individual was dismembered, a very violent type of a death."