World Headlines
Exchange Student Murdered On Webcam
By Amy Oppenheim
Apr 19, 2011 - 9:30:56 AM

TORONTO—A Chinese exchange student was attacked in her Toronto apartment while her friend watched via webcam. She was found dead hours later.

York University, courtesy of
Qian (Necole) Liu, 23, of Beijing, a student at York University, was talking early on April 15 to a male friend from her hometown on a webcam when a man knocked on her door and allegedly asked to use her phone, according to Toronto police.

Liu’s friend stated that he witnessed Liu struggle with the unidentified man for several minutes before the attacker noticed the laptop and closed it, according to a press release.

Directly following the incident, Liu’s friend contacted Beijing police to report the attack and to try to find out what happened.

Police arrived at Liu’s apartment ten hours later and found her body, which was naked from the waist down. Reports showed that she had been dead for some time before police arrived.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, but there were no apparent signs of severe physical trauma or sexual assault. However, police are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if drugs or alcohol were used in the attack.

According to the release, police are unsure at this time whether or not Liu knew the man, but they have received a detailed description of him from the witness. The attacker has been described as Caucasian, between the ages of 20 and 30, around six feet tall and weighing between 175 to 200 pounds. Additionally, he is described as having a muscular build and medium-length brown hair, and was wearing a blue crew-neck T-shirt during the attack.

No suspects have been identified, and police are asking neighbors for any information on the incident. A cell phone was found in the apartment and is undergoing forensic examination.

Family members of Liu are currently traveling from Beijing to Toronto.

York University President Mamdouh Shoukri has released a statement stating, "Qian's death is a terrible tragedy and our entire community mourns the loss of a promising young student."

Toronto police are asking that anyone with information on the attack contact Detective Sergeant Frank Skubic at 416-808-7399, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (247637), or leave a tip on Facebook at http://

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