Quebec father charged with first-degree murder in deaths of two of his children
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MONTREAL – A 45-year-old Quebec father was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday after two of his children were killed in the family home north of Montreal.
Kamaljit Arora was charged despite being unable to appear for his arraignment — either in person or by video from hospital — before a judge at the courthouse in Laval, Que. Arora is charged in the killings of his daughter, 13, and son, 11, both identified in court documents by the initials “A.A.” He was also charged with assault by strangulation of his wife, the Crown told reporters.
Both the Crown and a legal aid lawyer representing the accused told the court Arora has been unable to communicate since his arrest on Monday. A Quebec court judge agreed to put off of the arraignment until Wednesday, when lawyers were hopeful he would be able to appear.
Prosecutor Karine Dalphond said the police investigation permitted the Crown to lay the three charges. Dalphond could not say whether the suspect had a history of conjugal violence or whether the couple had been preparing to separate.
Arora on Tuesday remained in hospital, where he has been since his arrest by Laval police who responded to a 911 call on Monday evening. A police spokeswoman said investigators had identified the victims, who were declared dead after being transported to hospital.
Arora was also hospitalized, but police said his condition had stabilized. Police said an unidentified family member was transported to hospital to be treated for shock after he or she had witnessed the scene.
Laval police Const. Erika Landry said investigators were working on the hypothesis that the kids’ deaths were a result of domestic violence, but she did not give details.
The children were found just before 6 p.m. Monday inside a home on Lauzon Street in Laval’s Ste-Dorothée neighbourhood. Municipal evaluation records show the Arora family as the registered owner since May 2022.
The semi-detached house in a residential neighbourhood is located a few hundred metres from École Pierre-Laporte, an elementary school where one of the two murdered children was enrolled, Laval school commission spokeswoman Annie Goyette confirmed in an email.
“A team of professionals is on site to provide support to the students and school staff under the circumstances,” Goyette said. “A letter has also been sent home to all parents to inform them of the situation.”
Goyette said the school commission’s thoughts are with family, relatives and friends of the two victims.
On Tuesday, Premier François Legault offered his condolences on Twitter: “An unspeakable tragedy. My thoughts are with the loved ones of these two children. I can’t imagine their pain.”
Laval Mayor Stéphane Boyer also extended condolences to the victims’ loved ones on social media Monday night and said “all of Laval” is mourning.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2022.