Some teddy bears left at memorial for Riya Rajkumar in arms of family, rest will be donated
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Thursday, February 21, 2019 4:47PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:30PM EST
Hundreds of teddy bears have been left at a memorial outside a Brampton home where Riya Rajkumar was found dead on her 11th birthday last week.
Each member of the young girl’s family will hold on to one of the teddy bears as a token of their grief and strides forward, while the rest will be donated to those in need of a little extra love.
“All of the support has been really helpful – just seeing that everybody was able to reach out to us and it actually comforts us a little that the public was so concerned about it and they were happy that things have been looked into and even though we’re confused about the justice part, we’re really just happy that the teddy bears have been taken care of,” family member Rashad Alli said outside of the Brampton home on Thursday.
“Our step right now is to try to move. We are not trying to consider the goods, the bads, anything, we’re just trying to be humble with our family and start the steps to move on.”
An investigation into the abduction of Riya began Feb. 14 at around 7 p.m. after her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, did not return the young girl to her mother’s home at the agreed upon time, investigators said.
The child’s mother notified police that Rajkumar made comments indicating that he planned to harm himself and his daughter on that night.
An Amber Alert was then issued for Riya at around 11:30 p.m. Officers confirmed a short time later that the girl’s body had been located inside her father’s home.
A funeral was held for Riya in Etobicoke on Wednesday morning and a candlelight vigil was held on Tuesday night.
A statement was read on behalf of Riya’s mother Priya Ramdin at both the funeral and the vigil.
“She was a social butterfly who loved to spend time with family and friends,” part of Ramdin’s statement read. “She touched a lot of lives with her laughter and contagious big smile.”
“It breaks my heart to know I will no longer be seeing that smile, hearing her voice and knowing I will never have her in my arms again.”
Rajkumar was arrested just after midnight on Feb. 15 during a high-risk takedown near Orillia. Since then, he remained in hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police confirmed he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday night. He was facing a charge of first-degree murder in connection with Riya’s death.
Alli, who was a cousin to Rajkumar, lived in the basement apartment of the Brampton home and began packing up his things on Thursday. He said his relationship with his cousin was good and he “never saw this coming.”
“I’m really confused right now and that’s why I’m here trying to get out of here,” he said. “I was living in the basement and I just want to get out of here and try to move on.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
“The cause of death to Riya – we are still going on with this investigation so we are not going to disclose the nature of her injuries at this time and the cause of death to Roopesh Rajkumar will be looked after by the coroner,” Const. Taryn Hill said on Thursday.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Tracy Tong