Markham murders: A week which shook the community as four dead, man charged

A community north of Toronto was left shellshocked this week after four family members were brutally murdered in their home.

Grisly details emerged as police charged Menhaz Zaman, 23, with four counts of first-degree murder following the discovery in Markham, Ont., Sunday.

Zaman’s mother Momataz Begum, 50, father Moniruz Zaman, 59, sister Malesa Zaman, 21, and grandmother Firoza Begum, 70, were killed in the attack.

Their funeral was held on Friday at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto in Scarborough following afternoon prayers.

The victims were then buried at a cemetery in Richmond Hill.

The four people who were found dead in a property in Markham, Ont.

What we know so far:

Who is the suspect?

Menhaz Zaman has been in custody since York Regional Police discovered the bodies of four people inside a home on Sunday.

He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

During his first appearance in court Monday, he was wearing glasses, a black T-shirt and his black hair was short and thick. The prosecutor read aloud a list of 13 people he is not allowed to contact.

He appeared in a Newmarket, Ont., courtroom via video on Friday afternoon.

Wearing glasses and an orange jumpsuit, he said little during the brief hearing.

The case is expected back in court on Aug 8.

Menhaz Zaman

Who tipped off police?

A video gamer in Tunisia says he turned over to Toronto-area police disturbing messages and images that Zaman allegedly posted online.

He said he often played video games on a private server called Perfect World Void with Zaman.

Messages seen by The Star posted on the Discord forum said: “For three years Ive (sic) been telling my parents i go to uni, when actually I was just hanging out at the mall four days a week.

“I don’t want my parents to feel the shame of having a son like me.”

Where did this happen?

Police were called to a residence on Sunday shortly before 3 p.m. ET, near Castlemore Avenue and Mingay Avenue, after receiving a report that multiple people had possibly been injured.

MARKHAM, Ont. — A 23-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in what police are describing as a quadruple homicide. (The Canadian Press)

What happened when police arrived?

Officers made contact with a man at the front door and he was taken into custody. The man was not initially charged.

After searching the residence, officers found four bodies, police said Sunday evening in a news release.

A coroner and homicide detectives were been called to the scene in Markham, a Greater Toronto Area city about 30 kilometres northeast of downtown Toronto.

York Regional Police/Twitter

What have neighbours said?

People living near the crime scene have expressed shock such an incident could happen in their neighbourhood.

"I've lived here since 2002 and it's been a quiet neighbourhood. You know everyone on the street," Pascoal D'Souza told CBC Toronto.

He said that when police cruisers started to arrive, he thought it might be a robbery.

"Never did I think it would be what I heard right now."

A 25-year-old woman, who lives across the street, but did not want to give her name, said the family has been in the neighbourhood since it was built in 2002.

She said although she's seen the son and daughter on the street, it was more often the daughter.

"I tried to wave, but they would just go inside and mind their business," she said.

Tyrone Poulet, who has lived in the neighbourhood for some 15 years, still finds it hard to believe this happened in his neighbourhood.

He told YorkRegion: "I'm very shocked at the number of deaths and more the fact that it looks like some sort of family problem," he said. "This didn't happen in the street, it happened in a home. It's very sad."

Updates on this case

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