Peel police say the 36-year-old ex-husband of a woman found dead in Brampton on Monday is now a suspect in her death.
The body of 28-year-old Toronto resident Heeral Patel was found by a person walking their dog in the area of Nexus Avenue and Fogal Road in Brampton at around 5:50 p.m. on Monday.
Officers immediately deemed the death to be suspicious and officers with the Homicide and Missing Persons unit were called in to investigate.
Police say they later determined the victim’s ex-husband, Rakeshbhai Patel, was the primary suspect in the case.
The suspect and the victim were married for five years before they separated in August last year, police say.
A first-degree murder warrant has been issued Thursday for his arrest.
Investigators are urging the man to contact a lawyer and surrender to police.
The victim’s cause of death has not been publicly released.
The victim, who was reported missing in Toronto on Sunday, was last seen alive in the area of Islington and Steeles avenues at around 11 p.m. Saturday.
Toronto police set up a command post to search for Patel in the area of Finch and Steeles avenues, saying at the time that her disappearance was completely uncharacteristic and required a sustained ground search.
"On the 13th the individual was located… She had been missing already for a couple of days so if anyone saw anything leading up to that timeline that seemed suspicious or out of character, whether it was vehicle or a something that struck them as odd, that might actually be some piece of information we may be looking for," Const. Danny Marttini said Thursday.
It is not clear how Patel ended up in the location where her body was found and police would not say if they believe that is where she was killed.
Marttini confirmed that the victim was not residing with her ex-husband at the time of her death.
Patel worked at a long-term care home in Woodbridge for under a year.
In a statement, a representative from Villa Leonardo Gambin said they are heartbroken and described Patel as a person who was "committed to her profession."
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Heeral Patel's family and friends, including the many colleagues she worked with at Villa Leonardo Gambin. Her passing represents an enormous personal loss to each and every one of us."
Patel’s death appears tragically similar to that of 27-year-old Sharanjeet Kaur, who police say was killed in a murder-suicide in Brampton in December.
Kaur was found dead inside a Brampton home alongside the lifeless body of 35-year-old Navdeep Singh, who police say the victim had been in an intimate relationship with in the past.
Kaur was also reported missing in Toronto the day before she was found dead.